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Wednesday, 2 May 2007

First Book of Chronicles

A poem by Kei Miller, first published in the May 2007 CRB

(For Percy Miller, 1912–1997, editor at the Gleaner's Farmer's Desk)

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 of it--
but there was no time, no time
with the cattle being stolen, seeds being broken,
the dramatic dirt demanding him.

[Read another poem by Kei Miller in the May 2007 CRB, and Edward Baugh's review of Miller's debut books of fiction and poetry in the February 2007 CRB]

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