A prawn memory by the seined sea
water rising; we furl along
roll with the waves—
our clothes on

trade winds lashing
shrimp our eyes skin crab
we are one with the sea

breathing salt—
our tongues raging scales of love.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Vacation”?

I had visited family in Guyana, a brother and his family, and the brief time we’d spent on the beach, on the Guyana coastline, where I grew up, not far from a sugar plantation. In a sense this poem is about looking back; it’s also like a snapshot photograph I was trying to convey, something memorial.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Vacation”?

In “Vacation,” the snapshot was all, brief, imagery being all. Each line, each word, everything being condensed, with the metaphor of the sea and ocean being one. The two-lined stanzas kept going through my mind all the time as the right form for this poem, nothing else, as a way for the poem to achieve its optimal effect.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.