In the Village


Cootchie, Miss Lula’s servant, lies in marl
black into white she went
        below the surface of the coral-reef.
Her life was spent
        in caring for Miss Lula, who is deaf,
eating her dinner off the kitchen sink
while Lula ate hers off the kitchen table.
The skies were egg-white for the funeral
        and the faces sable.

Tonight the moonlight will alleviate
the melting of the pink wax roses
        planted in tin cans filled with sand
placed in a line to mark Miss Lula’s losses
        but who will shout and make her understand?
Searching the land and sea for someone else,
the lighthouse will discover Cootchie’s grave
and dismiss all as trivial; the sea, desperate,
        will proffer wave after wave.