Maggie Harris was born in Guyana and now lives in Wales. A poet and prose writer, she has published five collections of poetry including recorded poems for children, Anansi Meets Miss Muffet; Kiskadee Girl, (a memoir) and Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning, (short fiction). Her first collection, Limbolands, won the Guyana Prize for Literature 2000. She has taught Creative Writing at Kent University, ran a Literature Festival, and was International Teaching Fellow at Southampton University. She has performed her poetry across the UK and in Barbados, co-represented Kent in Europe and has been involved in several residencies and collaborations. Sixty Years of Loving marks the big birthday.
When The Waters Came
They said that alligators crawled out of the mud; they were hyper, really wild
talk about tails whipping and baring of teeth! At least one child
was barely whisked away in time, his legs dangling like string behind
his father’s Olympic stride.
The women didn’t have time to do their hair, pick up a hairbrush even
and that’s saying some, these are land mermaids remember, manatees,
lounge on back-steps when the cooking’s done with brush and comb, dousing
their hair with coconut oil, laughing at any men who dared to pluck a guitar string
believing themselves a dude.
The water ushered in the strangest things; Rupi’s underwear was caught high in a
mango tree, waving strips of tangerine for weeks to come;
her husband didn’t know where to put his face.
They caught one creature, poor misunderstood thing,
all out of sorts, had lost both house and home
and he was swallowing everything, even a mobile phone
that rung and rung until the battery died,
and many wondered if the owner was still inside.