First Book of Chronicles
My grandfather worked on North Street
writing articles devoted to yam, seeds,
the art of growing callaloo in rows
as neat as newspaper columns.
He wrote about rain that never fell
enough in St. Elizabeth, farmers
who wore their waterboots like faith,
thieves who drove big trucks, the mooing cows
they summoned and silenced with sharp
blades, blood splashing all the way
to the moon. But there is a book
my grandfather never wrote the full of
a fiction truer than the earth
he chronicled, a story that would last
longer than the day, destined for more
than the wrapping of fish.
He wrote only three pages
but there was no time, no time
with the cattle being stolen, seeds being broken,
the dramatic dirt demanding him.
(for Percy Miller, 19121997, Editor at the Gleaner's