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My Father's Car

Once were ragged souls like chattels branded,
  Blown by Atlantic wind and tide in chains:
Where long ago reeking slave ships landed
  African herdsmen in old Port of Spain.
And from my Father's car I saw the yields
  Where cane would men of burden burn and mash:
Where woman and child stooping in the fields
  Saw the ripping flesh and heard the whips lash.
And so I muse of an unfettered fate -
  That car, that relic of a dying age:
Like the ships of old and their human freight
  Hunted, sold, and transported in a cage.
In my Father's old Plymouth Belvedere
I saw the ghosts of the mills and ploughshare.


Trinidad & Tobago

December 2009



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