Posted in Antarctica

Timing

They used to be known as coloured
but now proudly called themselves Black.
Born in the Midwest and South
coming-of-age in towns with flat industries
and high unemployment.
Recruiters had it easy
promising paychecks, pensions and healthcare.
“The best of three man,” one explained
welfare and crime making up the trinity.

In the Navy they ceased to be individuals
“man you never been on a boat
sheeeeyit on the carrier there was 9000 of us ”
but never traded individuality.

During the down times
when flights were suspended
or no aircraft to be serviced
they would congregate in the mess
speaking patois and laughing – always laughter.

One grey day
when truculent cloud forbade flying
they came to the warm
sitting at tables redundant between meals
and spoke of tattoos.
Who
what
and where
prompting one to state Lemaster
pronounced Leeeemaarstir, “got one on da bone.”

“Oooooooeeeee.” Lemaster is the man.
“Hey Leeeemaarstir what it be?”
Reply seizes the potential for comic genius
“I’m not exactly sure.”
Incredulity
“it’s on da bone and you’re not sure?”
Timing – humour’s gift wrapping
“well
sometimes it be a fly
and sometimes it be an al….bat….tross.”

For the back story click Backstage

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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