Fred D’Aguiar's "Elegies for Virginia Tech"
I find myself ducking for cover into poetry once more.”
Caribbean Cookbook For VT.
My mum cooked soul food for my final class:
Fried plantains, cow-tail in a stew of casareep,
Boiled dumplings, sliced pineapple and mango
Juice for our first meeting after the cancelled week.
One student arrived with a bouquet for my mother.
Everyone heaped Pirates of the Caribbean paper plates
For this breakfast, minus one of our number, gone
For good. We ate as if on the heels of a Ramadan
Squeezed into a week of nil by mouth, ears and eyes.
My mum flew to Blacksburg for our joint offer.
She rose before the birds and I helped her skin
Exotica and washed up to keep the kitchen spotless.
At 9AM we breezed into my Caribbean class
And served up honeydew with plates of paradise.