A Sunday afternoon 

At my grandma’s kitchen table 

As she retells me her memories 

From her youth in Jamaica  

Youngest of seven 

Surrounded by family, land and sun 

Left when she was seventeen  

As I am now 

Listening to her recollect her best times 

The village was hers 

Surrounded by brothers, sisters and cousins 

Aunty Alma and Mrs Meredith with their competing ice cream stands 

The uncles: 

A mechanic, train driver, one who distilled rum  

And one living in America, 

Working for the air force. 

A grandmother with a grocery shop, 

A grandfather who owned a farm 

The land vast 

The air fresh 

The night sky splattered with stars 

Everything within arm’s reach. 

She left some time ago, 

Out to the grey and cold. 

Where the houses were cramped and semi-detached, 

The people sometimes cruel. 

Going to the sea 

Splashing with her friends in the river behind school 

A place where she could play and shout 

Her days filled with church, family and school 

Now she holds out her memories 

Captured in old photographs 

Withering away 

By Ruby Mckie