November 2015 // two poems
Archangel, him smile wide, take a next
sip, give out, “Do not fret, holy one.
For de Spirit shall seize you. De power
of De-One-Who-Run-Things take you in.
Too besides, dem will call de pikni
you going bear ‘Son of God’.
El Shaddai going give him David throne
for David is him forefather long time aback.
And him going reign over de tribe
of Jacob for all time to come,
and him kingdom going last forever.
It never going end.
Not just dat. Hear dis news!
Your cousin Eliza who bad mind
people take to make sport and call mule
she making baby too – gone six month
already never mind she well old,
for Jehovah, him do what him please.”
As for whether is El Shaddai send
me to you, if you think to yourself,
you will know if is so.
MARY, STILL CONFUSED
So me stop and me think but it don’t
do no good for me still mix up bad.
When me tell Archangel, him answer
say is me must make up my own mind.
Him can’t get in de way. Me laugh
when him say so! “Is true,”
me say. “You can’t get in de way.
Angel can’t make baby!” And you would
never guess what Archangel reply.
Him declare every angel above
in de heavenly host would quick give
dem eye-teeth to bear dis Holy Ghost begot child.
So me forward my next contention
as me make up my face. “Angel don’t
have no Ma, neither Pa to face down!”
Plus me say me sorry for Joseph, my betrothed,
for him going be well vex. Him say don’t
worry about Joseph, for him love me too bad.
And since Ma Ann and Pa bring me up
to discern and to judge, him suggest
me trust what dem teach me.
“Ma Ann counsel to do what feel right
in my gut. She say good
sense is dere, alive in my belly.”
Archangel, him respond: “Amen! She wise.”
So me make bold again to say Ma Ann don’t have
no messenger come down out de sky
with no burning plea from El Shaddai!
And me further protest she don’t have
to worry what bad mind folks going say
as dem watch her belly getting bigger each day!
So hear Mr. Gabriel: “Idle folks
bound to find things to chew
dem cud on, gobble spite,
wallow in dem fellow man bad luck,
rejoice when disaster fall on dem!”
Him add, “Is why de baby must come.”
Den him raise up him archangel brows and enquire:
“You going make dem decide what you do?”
“No, don’t fret about dat,” me tell him.
“But my poor family is God-fearing folks!
Respectability mean a whole lot to dem!”
You think me could persuade Archangel?
“All de more reason you should count
on dem trust! Dem know you from you born!”
So me ask if him planning to linger here long,
seeing as how me should pray concerning dis matter,
and consult Pa and Ma and go by de temple
for advice from de priest. And me gather de voice
to insist, with respect, me don’t know de ways
of de world. But me don’t get no respite from dat.
Him announce him cannot stay long
even though him enjoy a labrish
when him visit down here.
Den him remind me dat Jah-Jah say
since is me dat him ask to carry him baby,
me same one must decide.
“Never mind old time ways, never mind
how she young, woman not nobody property.
She free to decide on her own destiny.”