You Ever Notice How


You ever notice how
after the maximum leader has spoken
the night’s last, great, self-same, expected
speech, the faithful start to party
and the Square break away a carnival
of hips and waving arms
rocking to roots reggae boom
from speaker-boxes bigger and more
durable than poor people’s houses;
and you ever notice how when that happen
the maximum leader start to look wrong
grinning obtusely at what he has
let loose, and trying to dance
but him can’t catch the beat, and
is like the crowd don’t need him now
and the camera backing away for
a long shot and him getting lost
in the crowd, and him just look wrong:
a little man who have a plan
that only him one understand
and him just look wrong, the leader
who can’t dance the people music?
And is always the same, check me again
tomorrow night, same time, same square,
different set of players, different
colour costume, but the same script,
different maximum, but the same
two left foot that missing the beat.

from It Was the Singing (Sandberry Press, 2000), copyright Edward Baugh 2000, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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