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Island Largess

By Steven Ratiner / October 26, 1995



We pocket the sugar from the coffee bar

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and each morning pour

three packets onto a saucer,

balance it on the porch rail

between knots of bougainvillea.

Then we eat breakfast

and watch voluptuous clouds

saunter out above the islands.

The bananaquits appear out of nowhere,

black-caped and cowled, their bellies

yellow as their namesakes.

They cling to the china lip, peck twice

and then vanish in a flurry of wings.

What the birds spill, the geckos

feast upon on the floor beneath.

For the better part of an hour

we regard their comings and goings,

the bananaquits as skittish

as the lizards are deliberate.

Such is our morning, scarcely more,

and we think it Eden -

proof (if proof were needed)

how far we are from home.