NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 48

poetry U P O N T H E G I V I N G O F T H E W. E . B . D U B O I S AWA R D TO D E R E K WA L C OT T AT T H E B L A C K W R I T E R S ’ C O N F E R E N C E , M E D G A R- E V E R S C O L L E G E , B R O O K LY N M A R C H 2 9 T H , 2 0 1 4 By Mervyn Taylor Port of Spain or Castries, No Greeting Is Casual By Mervyn Taylor I had hoped you would read past the first ten pages or so, getting to the good stuff, glasses reflecting the evening light coming off the Vigie headland, making sure my endings were no longer shrill, that they stopped like the wooden wheels of a donkey cart, the animal knowing where better than the driver. I’ve been practicing, Derek, holding each word like a dancer before the dip, in the backyards where we boys readied ourselves for the girls. I did not paint at an early age, as you did. I looked at the living portraits of uncles and aunts, what the sagaboys made of their rough-stitched, determined selves. These are what I sent you, Sir, in disguise, hoping they would get through, that the winds might carry them to where you sat facing the sea. I had no idea they had already arrived, and you had thrown up your hands, impatient with one small error. 3/17/17 after Derek Walcott She sat in a pew near the entrance, in an aisle seat, so that leaning a little to the left, she had a clear view of the casket. 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