(For Pam Mordecai)

I still don't know how you surprised
him, and I'm still waiting for an answer
for why you did it--like you
must have been hungry or needed
drugs to feed that other hunger
that vanishes in a cloud of smoke?
But the mystery, like the question
of the soul, the presence of angels
remains--why did you kill my brother?

Why did you mash up his pretty smile,
spill his brains over the back seat,
with your gun and bullets,
so I find him with blood over his chest
and arms down to his legs
that used to scamper
down the lane with one tire
and one piece of stick with me
trailing behind him, and we would
pretend that he was the Governor General
and I was the Queen of England,
riding in a limousine to King's House?

And how I wish to God
it could have been like when we played
dandy shandy, and I would throw the ball
so hard, and he would slide away
from the danger like magic,
laughing, “Slip, you fool”
so that when you think you had cornered
him in his car, all you would have heard
was, "Not there. Not there!"

Geoffrey Philp, author of "Who’s Your Daddy? And Other Stories", maintains a blog at His next collection of poems, "Dub Wise", will be published by Peepal Tree Press in September 2010.


clarabella said...

Geoff: Such a poem! Such a poem! A poem to rub my heart till it hurts! These days, post Haiti's uproarious earth, I constantly imagine dying by violence, and pray for those who die that way, for the presence of Allah, Jah, the Most High God to be with them at the time of passing. Rex Nettleford's was sad but gentle. I give thanks for that as I give thanks for this poem. 1Luv,

Geoffrey Philp said...

This was from my heart to yours, Pam.


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