The History of the Bahamas
Realtors, bankers, hotel staff, hookers and gigolos, Haitian immigrants,
              And the dolphins captured and on display for the tourists.
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 black population,
The mixed population scraping a living from the rocky soil and the hurricanes,
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 islands,
With Bermuda exiles thrown in: whores, rebel slaves, and unmarried mothers,
              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 elsewhere),
              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.

Robin Helweg-Larsen

If you have any comments on this poem, Robin Helweg-Larsen would be pleased to hear from you.