Sonnet After Columbus, II by Jack Agüeros

We watched the stiff starched sails, the cotton and wood
On the scale of little boy boats blow onto our shore:
Our burned tree canoes were larger and sleeker.
The Caribbean was quiet tranquil as ourselves, but

These men were all more hellish than any hurricane,
And nothing good came after, government after government,
English, Dutch, Spanish, Yankee, twisting the tongue,
Jail some, buy some, scare some, dope some, kill plenty.

Do you know the names of the ones in jail or why?

Sailed in our bays and put paper feet on our throats,
Paper hands in our pockets, papered the trees and land
Papered our eyes, and we still wait wondering when.

     As for the names of the incarcerated? You and me.
     Charge? Not throwing tea in the bay.

© Jack Agüeros
from Correspondence Between the Stonehaulers

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