"Train Ride, Jamaica 2012"
Through cane fields that waved knives,
our train--packed with sinners and sweating,
itinerant preacher, kerchief in pocket
and Bible in hand, ready to beat the devils
back into the sea--rumbled through hillsides
where his great-great-great-grandfather had rained
war on the heads of wary redcoats, roaming
the limestone realm of the Cockpit Country
to gain favors from dour monarchs
of the Windsor clan. Under a sun that once
stood still at the cry of the abeng,
the engine matched his thunder
against the damned cities from Kingston
to Mobay--for his daughter, who for a dollar,
will stare into the eyes of willing cameras,
to be daggered by strangers in the street.
© Geoffrey Philp
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