History of the Bahamas
Realtors, bankers, hotel staff, hookers and gigolos, Haitian
And the dolphins captured and on display for
Before them, the blockade runners against the British, then the
gun-runners against the North,
Then the rum-runners against the Feds, then the drug-runners,
And the dolphins riding the wake.
Before them, the Loyalists, the slaves, the freed slaves, the
The mixed population scraping a living from the rocky soil and
Setting false lights to wreck passing ships,
And the dolphins shot for food.
Before them, the pirates, Blackbeard and Hornigold, Mary Read
and Anne Bonny,
Hiding and chasing, ambushing, waylaying,
And the dolphins rescuing sailors.
Before them, the Puritans praying and settling the empty
With Bermuda exiles thrown in: whores, rebel slaves, and
And the dolphins good luck and good faith.
Before them, the Arawaks living in beads, feathers and nakedness
(Till the Spaniards captured them all for their mining
And the dolphins who helped them herd fish.
Before them, the dolphins. If you want to know who lived where
on old coasts
Before the seas rose after the Ice Age,
Ask the dolphins.
If you have any comments on this poem, Robin Helweg-Larsen
would be pleased to hear from you.