De Bull

This one is a million years old (in a world where 16 years = 1 million years). I wrote it back when I was still on staff at the Antigua Sun (remember that?). I dug it up recently and thought, why not. Before you call me out on my lack of cricket-cricketing, whatever, Sir Viv eclipses all that (close your eyes and imagine smirky face emoticon here). And after that stellar introduction, De Bull:

by jhohadli

De Bull stride in
full of grace and beauty
decked out in his maroon
and tears that mirror
our own.

He kneels down before us
though not bowed.
Never that!

Never was a prouder man
Never a man to make us feel
as proud
Prouder still
as the sword lightly kissed
shoulders of steel
and tears liberally wet
his black cheeks
and emotion took hold of
us all
child, woman and man

This Black Man
Master Blaster
Antiguan Prince
Warrior
who though he had
at battle’s end
put down his bat
to us would forever wield it
like some bronzed icon
like a samurai stripping
bare his enemies
like too many a arwe people
who, with callused hands,
swung cutlasses on sugar
plantations
He would wield it for us all

And our hearts would swell
as they swell now
not a begrudging word in the
mix
just grinning, jumping ‘round,
crying and shouting
him marching from stand to
stand
fist clenched in a stance
reminiscent of a 1968
Black Power salute
in Mexico

(“No bowler holds a terror!”
Shorty, we couldn’t have said it
better)
From day one
the man demonstrated the
spirit of a Champion.

Vivi, we remember

Ent you too?
dreaming big dreams
hanging from the branches of
a tree over the ARG
where finally full circle
we lift you up
as you had done for us
long ago
no more minority
no more small islander
but Black People!
Antiguan!

© 2000, Joanne C. Hillhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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