Two Lizard Visitors

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DSC05378 2these last two mornings

i have had persistent

visitors

two lizards

who parade before me

in my mediation space

are they ancestors

i wonder

especially the smaller

with tail missing

what is the difference

between

belief and superstition

ancestors appearing in dreams

or a white man nailed on a cross

religion versus paganism

a heaven we hope to reach in death

an animal killed to appease

colonial evangelism has given

us a definition

to which even the most progressive

adhere

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i bang on the floor and

the lizards scamper

if you are an ancestor

with a message deliver

it and be on your way

they dash away

but soon return

we observe each other

their eyes are better than mine

with their acute color vision

i know they are harmless

although as a child I was

terrified

my older sister and brother

would catch them with

the slender leaves from the

coconut bough and toss

them at me

as my heels touched

my bottom as i sprinted

my voice bellowing

a crocking lizard

lived on the ledge

in our bedroom and

at night would just

carry on its dirge-like song

i was certain it was looking

down and would spring

on me

i was too old to sleep with

my mother and my sister

ran me from her bed

so i took my pillow and sheet

and slept in the bath tub

as there were never any lizards

in there

the only lizards i didn’t fear

then were the pretty

turquoise blue ground

lizards that could

not climb

don’t know

how or when it occurred

but lizards and i arrived at a truce

they no longer illicit any fear

i approach and chide them

for being in my spot

admonish them for

not catching all the mosquitoes

that bite or the insects that invade

my house

i drive them from hiding behind

my numerous pictures

i remind them they are welcome

on the verandah or patio

but are forbidden to enter

my bedroom

the lines of demarcation

have been drawn since childhood

II

lizards are reptiles

with scaly skin

these cold-blood creatures

bask in the sun to recharge

i’ve always thought they are

left-over baby dragons

but harmless

the poor lizard

more fraid of you

my mother would say

trying to lessen my phobia

she who feared nothing

there are said to be

5000 different kinds

and are known to shed

their tails when

in danger

they lay eggs

and their hatchlings

–baby lizards– spring up

some do have a venomous bite

but it’s not toxic enough

to harm us humans

aside for a little pain

although

they climb and sprint

leave their hard black stool

everywhere

they are ubiquitous throughout

the Caribbean

so you might as well

make friends with them

even the large iguanas

who climb my mango trees

and devour the best of my mangoes

but have no sense about crossing

the road i stop and shoo them to safety

of course

i have not encountered

a komodo dragon

that averages about 175 lbs

and grow as large 8’ 5’’

and actually attacks humans

they don’t live where i live

for now my two friends

wait and pose for my camera

perhaps this is the message

after all from my ancestors

befriend your fear

and coexist

with the lizards and all…

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