Published on Academy of American Poets (


                                    for Edward Baugh

Flashing silk phantoms
from the promontory,  
when seen at dark  
rushing to their beds,
those lights corroding
over Navy Island,
never grow old.  
In two enamel basins,
fill water to wash overripe
stars, eaten without
second guess, worm
and all, from veranda
chairs, where no guilt
brims over, whatsoever. 
As frost, unknown, intimate
breath bursts hot its kind
silence. Get up, go greet
Errol Flynn’s ghost
at the empty footbridge,
leaning on the breeze.
Maroons hum out
of hills, restless as
unappeased trees,
“Even days coming
are already gone
too soon,” then return
before the river’s lustre
hides their voices
and immeasurable
slow leaves bring
down our morning.


Copyright © 2020 by Ishion Hutchinson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 10, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“The good poem revitalizes memory. Edward Baugh’s ‘A Rain-washed Town By the Sea,’ is one such poem. It ends: ‘These memories define me. I keep them / against that morning when my eyes / no longer turn to greet the sun.’ Bracing words my own panoramic memory, in miniature, sings back to and to him, and to the town—Port Antonio—in which we were born.”
Ishion Hutchinson


Ishion Hutchinson

Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of House of Lords and Commons (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).

Date Published: 2020-02-10

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