Once, back home in the ghettoes of Trinidad, a man dying of AIDS lay under the abandoned house next to mine and died. This, years later, is the most I can say of it.

Black Boat Ride

I lie in my warm bed and shatter inside
A stained glass window now blurry with tears
Outside, underneath an abandoned house
A voice closer to animal than man howls at the moon
Redemption rides its pearl white horse into the darkling forest
He is left alone upon a road into shadow
Sorrow and pain his crutches and pack
The other villagers throw flaming words and sharp comments
At this poor miscreant, and whispered allegations
Fly, thickly feathered and viciously tipped,
At this most helpless of targets.
I imagine, in a brief moment of abject terror
What it must be like to see one's fate
To die like a starving cat in the dirt
Under a wooden tombstone in a part of the country
Itself left for dead.
I cannot take the noise, the grief
Every groan and cry for heavenly assistance
Grips and twists inside me with brass fingers
And icy palms.
Trying to go outside, I am stopped by my uncle
Who shakes his head sadly but firmly.
I rethink all of my worries up to this point.
Grades, women, money...all fall flat before the image
Of the final black river
Charon the boatman with greedy fingers taking my gold
My warmth
My life.
I hear the oars in my soul as morning come and the cries get thin.
Then, at around five, they end for the last time.
Relief bleeds through to my eyes from my mind
Going to school, I feel a new responsibility as the body is carted away.
This must not be my fate.

Poetry by Dominic
Read 967 times
Written on 2007-03-19 at 14:59

Tags Aids  Death 

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Zoya Zaidi
Comments on Pb:
What powerful write, dear Dominic!
I just loved it!
Very difficult subject, very daftly handled.
There is so much compassion here!
I am reminded of my own write, though not so artfully written, on AIDS victims ' Don't bury me alive...'
In our country also, sadly enough, society discriminates against AIDS' patients.
Love, Zoya

Karen Canning
a very strongly written emotional piece that takes the readers mind right to the heart of the scene, the last line says it all