by DEREK WALCOTT
The day, with all its pain ahead, is yours.
The ceaseless creasing of the morning sea,
the fluttering gamboge cedar leaves allegro,
the rods of the yawning branches trolling in the breeze,
the rusted meadows, the wind-whitened grass,
the coos of the stone-colored ground doves on the road,
the echo of benediction on a house—
its rooms of pain, its verandah of remorse
when joy lanced through its open-hearted doors
like a hummingbird out to the garden and the pool
in which the sky has fallen. These are all yours,
and pain has made them brighter as absence does
after a death, as the light heals the grass.
And the twig-brown lizard scuttles up its branch
like fingers on the struts of a guitar.
I hear the detonations of agave
the stuttering outburstsof bougainvillea,
I see the acacia’s bonfire, the begonia’s bayonets,
and the tamarind’s thorns and the broadsides of clouds from the calabash
and the cedars fluttering their white flags of surrender
and the flame trees’ siege of the fort.
I saw black bulls, horns lowered, galloping, goring the mist
that rose, unshrouding the hillocks of Santa Cruz
and the olives of Esperanza
Andalusian idyll, and answer
and the moon’s blank tambourine
and the drizzle’s guitars
and the sunlit wires of the rain
the shawls and the used stars
and the ruined fountains.
SOURCE: Poetry Foundation (2004)