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Upside Down Boat

Lelawatttee Manoo-Rahming

Ah whole village inna
inna upside down
upside down boat

ah airlock inna rafta
dreadlock rasta
rasta ooman an she pickney
inna village inna airlock
air block
wid rushin
rushin ocean

whoooooooooo shhhhhh
whoooooooooo shhhhhh

inna maelstrom
hu  hu  hu  hu
huri  huri  huri
cane toad
inna hurricane 

plague upon plague
Dorian Covid-19
sea & sky one an
unseen virus
new  new  new
moanin inna ward
twenty-tree positive
plague upon plague

ah village mash up
mash up inna blink
blinkin winkin an nod
ah village drop asleep
inna upsidedown
ah upsidedown rafta boat
inna ocean swell
ah king tide

tied tuh each other
together do not blink
do not wink
wait fuh de eye
de calm inna de eye
buh Dorian siddong
jes siddong spreadin
wind an water
salt an detritus
inna village 
like ah virus inna village
ah village inna lockdown
inna airlock
inna upside down boat.

Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming is a Trinidadian Bahamian Mechanical/Building Services Engineer, poet, fiction writer, and artist. She has won the David Hough Literary Prize and the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize from The Caribbean Writer; the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association 2001 Short Story Competition; was shortlisted for the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize for Fiction (2013); and longlisted for the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize for Fiction (2019). She has also won Poetic Form Challenges in Robert Lee Brewer’s Writer’s Digest Poetry Blog. She has been published in WomanSpeak; AnthuriumPoui; Interviewing The Caribbean; The Commonwealth Foundation’s addastories; Akashic Books Duppy ThursdayCaribbean Erotic; Capitals; Thicker Than Water; We Mark Your Memoryand Pree. She is the author of two poetry collections: Curry Flavour (Peepal Tree Press, 2000) and Immortelle and Bhandaaraa Poems (a hybrid work published by Proverse Hong Kong, 2011).

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