You are an island girl
born of salt and sun,
molded from rich earth.
The ocean sighs in each breath
you release upon the wind
and all the heat of an August sun
rages in your thighs.
Your eyes command respect
and every word you exhale
is laden with the music of birds,
crickets and frogs crying out their passion
at clear starry skies.
You are paradise lost to the ages.
You are the treasure men seek
and the secret they keep.

You are the inebriating breath,
smooth molasses, the voluptuous
fruit of the earth,
and all the sounds of cannons
making thunder in past ages
or dark bodies singing in their cages
are your voice!
The rise and fall of tides at black shores
reflect the flush of blood
to your lips…
The hurricane and the gale
are your song…
Your lips will forever speak the old secrets
and your bosom will carry the weight of their pride.

You are an island girl
born of callaloo
and spice,
molded from the dreams of old nations.
You are destiny and adventure –
the curve of your hips beckons
like the horizon to Columbus.
You draw all things to yourself
and breathe life into clay with your hands.
You are a goddess, Island Girl,
with your playful smile
and nappy hair.
You are love, Island Girl,
with your dark skin
and heavy breath.
You are home, Island Girl!

With your bruised hands
and calloused feet
you will raise a nation, Island Girl,
and your blood will make them kin:
African and slave;
European knave and lord
and Carib child…
Your blood will make them kin
Your hands will wash them clean.

© Doran Joseph 2013