Cat Islands Son
A poem for Sidney Poitier
They call him Mister.
They call him Sir.
They call him Sidney Poitier.
They learned quickly not to call him outside of his name.
How do you measure the life of someone so unforgettable?
Cat Islands native son;
with roots watered in the sands along its shore
and arms stretched upwards reaching beyond for more
blazing trails worldwide that opened closed doors.
That one in a million.
Dreaming wildly and building resilience.
Stargazing under a sky full of billions of stars
his maverick heart —
His art so captivating on film
as if he were cast by moonlight.
Destined for greatness; rejecting conventions of pastimes,
standing regal as a tree — in the heat of the night.
A rich and critical voice;
a symphony so crisp and gracious above the noise.
How do you measure the unbreakable integrity
and the unmatched masculinity
of a soulful Black man with such capacity
to be love and be loved?
The truth is you can’t.
Some peoples impact is immeasurable
though you sensed the weight of their presence
every time you felt yourself expand
breathing in their shared moments, grasping their essence.
What a blessing to be alive
and know that you wandered this Earth at the same time.
Cat Island mourns its beloved son;
with the loss of a life so well lived
and sincerely felt so river deep,
the world he loved and leaves behind
consoles itself knowing he was given his flowers
long before he said goodnight.
His star ascends for one last time
and after all we may find him light years away
as a supernova resting beyond the edge of our sight.
For now, we gather pieces from his example;
a precious life that can never be unseen —
as we sing him tenderly into a peaceful sleep.
And we bathe joyfully in his blinding light,
with heartbeats racing towards our biggest dreams
we’re reminded of how beautiful being human can be.
Authors note: For Sir Sidney Poitier, with love — and gratitude. May he rest in perfect peace. 🙏🏾