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Requiem for Montego Bay - A poem by Milverton Wallace

Photograph of the historic Gechie Beach behind the St. James Parish Library in 1970 before the area was reclaimed to form part of the now Howard Cooke Boulevard | Calvin G. Brown Photo Photograph of the historic Gechie Beach behind the St. James Parish Library in 1970 before the area was reclaimed to form part of the now Howard Cooke Boulevard | Calvin G. Brown Photo
Looking for Montego Bay........... All the cherished landmarks are gone only the library stubbornly remains. See the young boy sitting by the window Looking out to sea, wishing, daydreaming as the ships slowly climb the horizon— the massive merchantmen bowing gently the mighty man ‘o’ wars in battle grey.


Fishermen, straining at the oars, hustle

inshore with fish for the dinner table.

Young children gambolling on Gitchie beach,

mothers and aunts keeping a watchful eye.

To the east, the jetty of the yatch club

surrounded by threacherous waters.

All gone. Erased from the city’s memory.

 

Further east, the general hospital

where he was born to a teenage mother

lives now only in cartographers’ maps.

To the West, a mighty hi-way bulldozed

all before it to create a new city.

Where is the gentle Montego River?

Sunk underground by a curving freeway.

 

And the fine black sand beach of River Bay

where the Montego River met the sea?

To the west were the verdant Bogue islands,

now covered by tarmac, concrete and steel.

To the east, the old fort on the foreshore.

The warm breezes ambling across the bay

the perfect lift for our colourful kites.

 ©Copyright Milverton Wallace 24 November 2017

Last modified onMonday, 27 November 2017 19:21
  • Countries: Jamaica