(For those of us who remember)
Mount Pleasant tanks were
Tola’s donkey cart
brought Christmas up the hill.
Estelle baked fresh loaves of bread
in an oil drum by Mrs. Taylor’s.
The Friendship Rose
was a real sailing ferry,
and Sam McDowell painted her
There were few roads then,
most places were hard to find,
like Hope and Ravine.
Outsiders built simple homes
that did not alter the fragile balance
between us and them.
Now the price of land has
driven that balance away.
It’s the wild, wild west out there,
build where, how, and when you like!
Diesel trucks screech wildly around corners
carrying loads of concrete, cement blocks, stones
that spill randomly onto the roads.
They blow their horns
from one end of the seven mile island to the other
to catch the one oclock ferry.
They belch out poisonous fumes
which give the local kids asthma.
There’s an epidemic of it here.
Cars overrun the small, narrow roads
Mashing up de concrete.
Piles of foreign garbage
flood the small, finite, landfill.
And I believe the people’s paradise
is close to being lost,
the one I knew, gone forever.
The precious Bequia way of life,
and to be envied,
now perhaps a mere reflection
in the rear-view mirror of time.