Youte
(Anse LaRaye, St. Lucia
A Friday night in June, 2002)

by June 19, 2009 0 comments

“Sick Youte!
Wicked Youte!”

Through these streets
Youte runs
Youte of the Friday nights
Youte of the street parties
The islanders move late
Move into the night

In the disco, lights are flashing
Rastas pulse to the reggae, country beat
Vacillating, syncopating
Rhythm and color spill into the street

Where sounds and smells
Attack the senses
Lobster, shrimp, seafood all
Life is consumed here
In great, gulping mouthfuls

There stands Augustine Raspar
Spouting wisdom for any to hear
“I make everyone dance!”
He laughs, “Because you never know.
So, live fast and quit!”
Amen

There stands the church
Graveyard full of those who danced
Youte grins a skeleton grin
He towers far above the town
Grinning down
Below him, pulsing mad and fast
Rastas, lobsters, island women
Sleek and brown
White-skinned tourists

The music rises
Engulfing all in a flood
Youte moves through the crowd
Taps each reveler on the shoulder
And leads a long conga line
Down to the shore
Skeleton grin
Until everyone is smiling

“Sick Youte!
Wicked Youte!”

– MH Clay © 2002

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