21 January, 2007
Venezuela, late 1950’s, political unrest,
All the windows of our house had bars.
To keep out the dangers, the robbers,
But in that the bars didn’t succeed.
One of my early childhood memories is
Sleeping beside my parent’s bed on the floor
Worrying that the robbers had slipped under
The bed as we surprised them while working,
And they were still lying there:
Inches away from my face with only the
Veiling bedcover separating us.
In Canada, summers, my father would
Put up thick screens on all our windows.
To keep the mosquitoes away from our tender
Bodies. Mosquitoes, the size of refrigerators.
It was the black flies that were pesky though.
Oddly, it was Grenadian mosquitoes that
Bit the skins of my children and I and
Giving us kisses of dengue fever.
Germans, love their “Jalousie”. At sunset.
Clack, clacking down, unfolding down the
Length of their apartment and house windows.
Shutting out the outdoor sounds, the starlight,
The cool evening breeze, and prying eyes,
Which is so odd in a country of blasé nudists.