Stories are better than pictures.


I pulled the pup from the road One eyeball had popped out of its darling head There was a party that day at Dejon's No guest should have to see that sad sight or the vultures that would have soon arrived

Claudia said "Put it on the other side" This time I dragged it across to the far side of the road into the bush Miss T never knew to say thanks I retired to my plastic chair Waiting for the Mothers Day party to begin

Curried goat, fried fish, jerk chicken... And later a band No one had arrived when it was time for me to go But Miss T dished me up a plate full of her fine cooking

Neil came from Kingston to pick me up One last visit to the beach of sand and scales Little Ochie would be hopping. It was. Fresh fish, lobster, conch and crabs aplenty And mothers dressed in their Sunday Best

Earlier that day, after a long walk toward Port Kaiser to watch birds... Another walk down to the beach To see the fishermen bring in their catch And to drink a Red Stripe or two

I bought "Reggae Pop" for the kids up the road And spicy red shrimps for me to crunch on the walk back Brother Angus and I talked and shared the shrimp as we strolled home The old man had just preached the Book of Ruth at the Church of God It was Mothers Day, after all

He blessed me as he turned to enter his ramshackle house

Back at Dejon's I took my sponge bath Nothing would flow from the showerhead My stay in the bar was luxurious nevertheless One big, dark, open room. A small kitchen to the side Three small, hot guest rooms on the left, one mine A bar to the back and another on the right Claudia and Rochelle to look after me and me alone Dejon's was the only Inn in Alligator Pond

Up at "Red Lobster" I showed my card trick to Kit a boy about five He will never forget this mystic man

After dragging away the dog, I could not get Kit out of my mind The shabby cars drive much too fast through Alligator Pond Children will die just like the dog. I know it There is too much pride and abandon in these men (Though sometimes I wish I had some of their bravado)

The mother spent time with her dead pup that day A gentle sniff before walking off Only to return later, unfit to comprehend the fate A dog forgets. Mothers Day will be fine with the rest of her litter

I leave Jamaica with sweet memories Ilie the Rasta, Claudia, Rochelle and Miss T Sharon, Kit and Karina from Red Lobster Constable Miller and Brother Angus The good people of Alligator Pond A place unchanged in the thirty years since I last visited.