The imam caught all manner of jinn,
trapped them in glass jars; buried them in the dark
two feet deep beneath silk cotton trees.

His great-grandson once caught a purple jellyfish,
entombed tentacles and all in a cocoa tin,
two feet deep in the north coast’s cold Toco sand.

The imam’s birth had been eagerly awaited in Trinidad,
conceived as he was, in the holy land; and
at twelve, called upon to become an imam.

Uncle, said great-grandson at age four, to an impatient
quarrelsome stranger at a cricket match, Speak kindly to
your daughter. See the way what you say smudges her face?

Soft-spoken and gentle, the imam lived a long-life
unhurried, with laughing children about his feet
and above, among the drying cocoa and tonka beans.

Great-grandson shone with life and grace through trials,
and illuminated the world for the lost, sunk in the dark.
But his time was called before he became a man.

Both great-grands were buried at Waterloo.
The imam’s procession stretched from cocoa house
to gravesite: a walking mile of Muslim mourners in white.

Eight branches of families came together for great-grandson —
arms across the globe reaching out beyond the glass;
whispered duas taking wing on fibre-optic pulses of light.

Neala Luna is a writer from Trinidad and Tobago. She was shortlisted for the 2022 Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowship and her poems, short stories and articles have appeared in regional and international publications, including The Caribbean Writer, Small Axe, Acalabash Poetry Portfolio, Susumba’s Bookbag, and Maco People. She is a fellow of The Cropper Foundation Caribbean Writers’ Residential Workshop (Trinidad, 2014 & 2019), and The Drawing Room Project’s Writers’ Retreat (Jamaica, 2017). Neala is the founder of Write Club, a peer-review writing group established in February 2014, and co-coordinated The Cropper Foundation Caribbean Writers’ Residential Workshop in 2019. She is currently editing her first collection of poetry.