In hot sun they spread their umbrellas
over their heads, sharing it like a faith
making the bright Beausejour heat bearable. 
Black umbrellas spread out like corbeaux
circling the neighbourhood, blocking out
Samedi and the morning. Long lissome skirts
smoothing down their legs, I hear them squawking,
hawking, moving from gate to gate, and then the unfurling
of the name like a talisman: “Christ,” with its vowel
of shining, its over-protective consonants, its resonant
armour.  On other days I would answer the door,
greet them how my mother teach me always to greet good people,
accept their pamphlets smiling, then fold
the Awake magazine until it is as small as an eyelid.
But today, the dogs fusillade toward the gate,
panting and hungry, snarling, barking like they want
to chew through metal, to grab at the skirts and sieve
the women through the chain-link fence, their greetings
being torn to shreds. I am slouched on the couch,
lazy and undressed, unredeemed, holding a meditation,
stroking a soft growl of hair blessing my warm chest.



Vladimir Lucien is the author of the poetry collection Sounding Ground (2014), which won the 2015 Bocas Literary Prize.  His work has been published in several journals.