after Colin Robinson
I remember daily chaos of grey,
industrial faces and dress shoes,
skirts grasping to contain the sway,
sneakers, slippers, concrete blues
and greens & smudged haze of worry.
Bright red ads above our heads
ignored. Each day, buses & maxis
pull close, reckless, baptise us
in charred & exhausted clay.
Voices robust above the smog
& ropy cobweb. Plain pigeons run
next to tired terrazo & feet
smeared with the rush of a city’s day.
All straight lines, hard surfaces:
But still a child’s pride in the brown
stone history, the familiar slipway
for those who work and leave.
Seven years, this was my way home.
Drifting a dirty boxed corridor,
one among the mass cliche of skeptics & pious,
a cracked cathedral where no one prays.
Blind worshippers streaming forward, inveterate.
They are taking them,
stringing them into lines
snaking them like links
on cold chains, nameless.
Our obeisant ones are cold
naked shivering angry
bold, our decisions & incisions
flowering and bursting
black & red crushed pods
under a mother’s grief,
like crushed fever grass
under the weight of boiling.
This obedient land broken open
under autopsy, leaving alive
a gravelled wound, softly
gasping. A mass grave of dreams.
Desiree Seebaran is a Trinidadian writer and editor. She is an alum of the Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop for Writers (2010) and the inaugural Moko Magazine Poetry Masterclass (2018). Her work has been shortlisted for the 2014 Small Axe Literary Competition (poetry) and the 2017 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets Contest.