by Geoffrey Philp
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued level 4 and level 2 travel advisories for Jamaica which sees them strongly warning against travel into the country due to several factors including Covid-19 and violence which has plagued some areas. —YardHype, January 12, 2022. See also CDC, January 10, 2022
The CDC has updated their travel advisory
to Jamaica due to crime, the spread of Covid,
and a lack of police presence in the county.
They’ve suggested avoiding public buses or secluded
places and added to statistics of robberies and break-
ins, a rising positivity rate. Fully vaccinated,
boostered, and up-to-date on flu shots I’ll take
my survival odds on the island this winter.
You see, America, I need a long-deserved break
from my daily rehearsal of answers to policemen
with the tiresome, “Who are you? Why are you here?”
usually by some rookie hoping to make his bones
with an exotic trophy in the trunk of his squad car
where he’ll pose with his first kill of the New Year.
Geoffrey Philp is the author of five books of poetry, two collections of short stories, three children’s books, and two novels, including Garvey’s Ghost. His poems and short stories have been published in The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, sx salon, World Literature Today, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, Bearden’s Odyssey Poets Respond to the Art of Romare Bearden, Rattle: Poets Respond, and Crab Orchard Review. A recipient of the Luminary Award from the Consulate of Jamaica (2015) and a former chair for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry, Philp’s work is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy—an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami culture. His next collection of poems, Archipelagos, is forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press.