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For Caribbean Girls Who Lost Their Accents: Poem #3

December 31, 2009

By: Lesley-Ann Brown

She is gone now.

The sight of flour on skin,
age spots form an
archipelago
across her
arms.

a clutter
of dusty
pictures and
rosaries
under her bed.

Life, you’d sometimes think, hadn’t been that good to you.

Girdles that
squeezed
your fibroid
infested womb—
An old hallowed out home to five
Barricaded
Against
Life…

You comb your unruly hair back
And look uncomfortable.
The look is not you.
I love it when you just
Let it be—

rather than tame it
And look like a scared
Old lady
Instead of the courageous
Heroine that you are.

You still store things
Away
In overflowing drawers
And cupboards
Afraid that one day
You will need

Something

& it will not be there:

What trauma
Gave birth to that?

You say,
I feel your mother
Is doing something

To me—

Like I can’t put my
Fingers on it –
Your hands, exasperated go up in the air

Only to slowly come down

And rest, at your side

Powerless.

We loved each other once.

The nights
I fell asleep
under the
symphony
of your snores:
Uncountable.
Sleeping,
side by side
A woman, and her grandchild.

You say,
Pointing to
A brand new

Press, you say,

Look at that

What my
daughter

Buy for me—

You know what she say?
She say,

when you die

I’m taking it back.

What kind of thing

Is that to say? And you

Schweups at the

callousness of your

Child.

You’ve got:

Two kitchens,

a Toilet

without a door,

social security

checks

deposited

In

Brooklyn.

We walk
down the street
and you smile at
a stranger,
and giggle like
a child…
But wait nah,
you say, stopping,
in a daze. I
thought that was
Nen-nen, but
nen-nen
die long
time now…

What is happening to me, you ask?

& no matter how
hard I try,

I can not answer:

Alzheimers.

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