From LINE: for Derek Walcott

© John Robert Lee

Derek Walcott

“to every line there is a time and a season.” (DW)

When have I not measured this land by your lines?

When have I not tracked blue-smoke pits to their river-stone roots by your metaphor?

When have I not walked, Walcott, by your fire-scorched love, through uptown lanes


of old Castries, strolled the revolving corners of Chaussée, Coral, Broglie, Victoria?

You leave us your covenants with the everlasting fretworked eaves

of Riverside Road, gommier canots and their men from Dauphin to Vieux Fort,


the epiphanic groves of Mon Repos, the stone chapel of Rivière Dorée, the turning


whispering of Methodist hymnals on Chisel Street.

It’s what’s left, at the end of the line (I imagine you insisting) that scans our lives,

marks our season’s faith, and amortizes all indentured loans.


(Photo of Walcott on his 80th birthday by J R Lee).

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