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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Jul 23, 2019 - 12:38:58 PM

Are we or are they in the Living Room
By Obediah Smith
Jul 22, 2019 - 12:10:52 PM

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Are we or are they  in the Living Room

I’m a tourist too

who might leave and not return,

who might go and not come back

though I am living over the hill

over the hill where

laws are not enforced

where any buck-up goes

on the bus,

over the hill,

you stop anywhere,

you do as you please

same bus, same passengers,

get downtown, get to Bay Street

and different rules apply

tourists our guest

in our living room

in our front room

tourist spaces, holy ground

you must take off your shoes

over the hill you can break any law

you can break any rule

the unholy, abominable

booming boom of music

litter as you like, where you like,

any mess would do

chaos, mayhem, tangle up

is good enough for local us

but I have seen better

I have been elsewhere

and I am insulted

as many others like me are

who see

how tourist spaces are kept

are treated

how what is considered home-

who are considered to be home

are treated

it is because of this that

Bahamians in large numbers

are going abroad to study

and are staying away

are living abroad

are not coming back

we need to make this place-

this space or these spaces

where we live

attractive too, sacred too

holy ground

who are tourists that we are not

who is a tourist that I am not

why am I/are we considered to be

less important/less significant

why is my part of the country

left to descend

into what is like the garbage dump

why is where I live

on so many levels/in so many ways

because of neglect/because of laws

that are not enforced

quite close to scornful

instead of governed/instead of policed

people left to do as they wish

as they choose/as they please

as if to say

used to no better

we deserve no better

but I want order/I want orderly

I want nice/a better life

what I is, a mangy dog

lousy, with fleas, with lice

why am I and my part

of town neglected

why is where I live

where the lack of rules rule

where chaos

is what orders the day

how is it and why is it

that tourists are considered

to be better than ourselves

to be better than us

Bahamians of great value,

intellectually and economically

are choosing to live/

are choosing to go/

are choosing to live and work

where they too can feel

and can be first class

who wants to live,

who wants to be in a place where

tourists are cherished

and citizens are not

loose, the rules which govern us

where there are rules

they are worn slack

like the belt around the middle-

about the waist of a policeman

with a big protruding belly

fat with what he accepts

to look the other way

no looking the other way

though where and when

our tourists are involved


are more precious

by far them we are

there are Bahamians

who are working at NASA

who are so valuable

that they have bodyguards

here at home a Bahamian

could constantly

be rubbed the wrong way

and we must take it/must accept it

must  accept that that is how it is

that that is the way things are

even if/even when

we are completely rubbed out

© Obediah Michael Smith, 2019

circa 11 AM Sunday 14.7.19

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