"Warner Woman: Version " by Geoffrey Philp
Warner Woman: Version
(For Edward Baugh)
She came, they say, wearing a dress as red
as the dirt of the countryside, and stood
at the crossroads of Matilda’s Corner
shaking her fists at the mansions
on the hills. “The Spirit descended on me
to speak these words to the nation,
for they have wandered in paths
that I have not taught them.
For I have heard the cries of widows
and orphans in the streets, but the wicked
who fear neither flood nor famine,
and have built their fortresses, their walled
communities and garrisons have said,
‘Who is there like us to judge us?’
But thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts,
‘Kingston, O Kingston, how I would have loved
to have gathered you to my bosom
the way the sea caresses the shore.
But you have preferred storm and hurricane.
So I say, woe to you for you have slaughtered
my children, the old, and the crippled.
Woe to you for you have stoned and exiled
my prophets. Woe to you for your have defrauded
the homeless and the poor.” Then she ripped
her dress in two, spat on the asphalt three times,
and then, ran like a horse without its rider,
back up to Long Mountain, up into the darkness
gathering around the tops of the trees
with the smell of rain around their roots.
From Dub Wise