Andre Bagoo: Carnival Monday in TrinidadPosted: February 20, 2012
You are not my mother so you hold
my hand tighter than you should.
The wind blows my Indian feather,
And throws red dust into my face.
This is supposed to be fun, but when
We reach the Savannah stage I am terrified.
Your son, my half brother, is cold
He does not chip to the dollar wine.
This Kiddies’ Carnival experiment
Has gone awry. I’ve lost my axe.
You say you have to leave me here
It is five o’clock and Panorama is tonight.
You are going and my father is going
But my mother is staying home and
I am staying home to wash all this
Glitter and Vaseline off my small body.
But somewhere near that Savannah stage
The crowds crush my black cardboard axe.
Andre Bagoo is a journalist and poet
from Trinidad, West.Indies.
He was born in 1983.
The poem above gives us Trinidad Carnival
through a child’s eyes, and will be found in
Bagoo’s collection of poems, “Trick Vessels”,
to be published by Shearsman in March 2012.
Savannah: Queen’s Park Savannah, huge park in Port-of-Spain;
central festivities site for Carnival – Parade of Bands,
Crowning of Calypso Monarchs, etc.
chip – to step or shuffle in time to the music
dollar wine – a reference to the 1991 calypso hit by Colin Lucas,
Panorama: Carnival competition for Best
Pan Orchestra (i.e. Steel Band)