Fred D'Aguiar is a writer and professor. His work is inspired by the history and politics of Guyana, where he spent his childhood. Cultural activist.
She made us settle our feet on the mud
Floor of her daub and wattle hut and she
Wielded a cane cut from wood that bit
Into the palm of the hand and left a burn
That resonated up the arm for an age
After its smart swing and crisp contact.
Worst of all was the shoe cupboard
Where the old man stored his wire
Brushes: a cold, dark, narrow place,
Replete with brushes hung on nails
Covering every square inch and said
To come alive when a child was locked
— ROYGBIV by Fred D'Aguilar