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Chapelton, Jamaica

Chapelton, Jamaica

The sun-remembered beggars

don't beg no more. Noon, the fluting blind man

walks into his bible with frail fingers. Relief

comes with the blue khaki river

of Friday high schoolers to feed and feed

on the restaurant heart

of town. In the market, the vendors mob

that one stray customer while outside the black bust

of the Maroon Cudjoe looks down on the white

Catholic Church graves which make

great seats for lunchers who laugh over the dead.

Beside the rainbow shop, a broken standpipe

gushes all day, where kids from the primary school

come to cool their fried feet as brown

palms wave from the court yard. In front

of the white police station

two shirtless men fight over

the job of emptying

a garbage bin; the powerless clock tower

cannot sing and the defeated man,

plotting murder, watches peaceful

clouds the cruel sun, a black butterfly

writhing in the wind.

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