Of beasts and angels*
February 26, 2018
When I lose*
February 26, 2018

Carnival, we eh done*

By Laura Ann Phillips

Dear Carnival,

People say I should done with you and move on. That you come and gone and is Lent now, but I can’t just switch off. Yes, is Lent. And you pass, but you eh gone – not for me. I see you everywhere, still, all over.

In the colours you leave behind on the children’s walls, strong and bright like you. I feel you in the tiredness they still can’t shake off, whether they prance up with you or waited you out. The ones who party and the ones who spent those days behind barred gates, picking up your garbage from their yards, who never slept, day or night, all the while you were here.

You really always like a spoil child, eh? Is never enough, like you don’t ever know when to stop! You does do and do and don’t ever look back! That is why you does get mih vex so! Is I have to pick up after you everysingletime! I does have to clean up all the food box and mash-up bottle and glitter and beads and confetti all over the place! Me!

The poor children does sit down for hours when they know you coming, talking and discussin’ with people who feel they have bridle on you, but each year, oh gorm, they does see! Not even I could control you, and is how long we together?

But, we could fall out how many times and, still, is back to you and me, babes – people not understanding that. I would tell you over and over don’t come back, and I does mean it! But, I does still tingle when I know you getting close – old wood does catch fast.

Remember the giant bats you used to make for me by the power station? I always loved to see them. And the cow mas’ and the fancy sailors poufing powder all round? And how you bring your pan children for me to mind; I love them like mih own. How you would hold me close, close while they played. And, the children in Adam Smith Square, chipping and laughing.

And how we used to fight, bad, bad! We always had plenty, Passion, long before it was official. And we make so many kings and queens! Remember when the children start to make little groups, then bigger ones, and they used to dance and jump around my skirts? They used to listen good, good to the ones in charge, ent? Edmund and Lil, George Bailey, Stephen Derek, Max Awon, Peter Minshall, Ansel Price – remember? And the younger ones, too: Ronnie, Caro, Iron Mike.

How I could stay vex with you? Like you can’t stay away from me, like your navel string bury here. I might pout, I might quarrel, Carnival, I might vex. But, you know my heart belongs to you. And you? You don’t have to say it. I know.

See you next year.

I remain,

Your love ever and always,