Poetry Friday: Cynthia James

May Shuttlecock
The day before, I’d left the gold leaf candelabras in Cantaro;
white holy ghosts wing-spanned the high blue apse of Santa Cruz;
I was confirmed again, crowned with cascading tulle, wild lilies
and forget-me-nots. ‘Twas May, the rains had not yet
washed away the yellow candles kindling tender fires,
and surfeited, I wondered how and why I’d sunk so low
within the vale to miss the Hubble view and give this up.
The old singer in the corner needed but a shuttle;
I went out and bought, passing the day soft, loud
pedalling the treadle’s lockstitch revolutions.
The next day my flight confirmed, I climbed the clouds,
suction-cupped my ears, swore against all birds, and landed
routinely at Pearson. By evening I’d trod fallen acacia crisps,
windblown bread crumbs, and yellow buttons helix-spiked,
kicking heads sprung in thawed and tilled dogs pats.


Cynthia James is a Trinidadian, living for the past 3 years in Toronto. She writes poetry and fiction and her work can be found in publications such as Callaloo,Caribbean Writer and The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse.


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