Any Tuesday (with octopus)

A rich new Irishman, so big across himself
schools his two small children
on the tennis court below.

His  soft, firm brogue encouraging
Sammy and Johnny both;
“hit it back now, hit it back.”

Mother is out walking down
the empty beach to take
photographs of the Wishing Dock.

A wooden finger that reaches
into Mahoe Bay just far enough
for the odd row boat to pull up to it.

There was once a restaurant there
perched at the end of the bay
but like many things that perch

it fell into the sea and was never replaced.
The Wishing Dock remains however.
The same place the year before we met

(and upon her first visit to this island
and as her now dead father was buying
the piece of land this house is built upon)

she apparently laid and wished for me.
I say apparently, because the clarity
of her imagining, then or now

might have become pinned more clearly
over time, which is fine.
The place has entered our story

be it factual or fictional
us or it, and thus for now
the child and I wait.

Him in the dark as children always have been
and me in lieu of swimming
bothering the pool man with my camera’s click.

I do not bother to mention that
it crosses my mind he has been put on this earth
solely for this moment

for the freeze frame of him here at work.
An Indian man amongst West Indians
observed by an Englishman working

(him, not the Englishman).
I wonder if the Irishman is in favor
of the Queen or against her

but that’s another avenue
of the same grisly story. History.
My hands are soft. Time to swim.

Later I’m promised octopus
to look at, not to eat.
It’s what we colonialists do now.

March 27, 2012