Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Poetry: On inheriting my aunt's house in Jamaica

This was my aunt's
This house
These gardens
These mango trees
In this yard
she walked, cooked, raised hell.
It was in that room there
that she argued with a ghost deep into the night
when he came and stood by our bed.
In our family
only ancestral ghost were allowed.

This was my aunt's
these apartments
this tenement

And there, there,
was where she cooked the corn meal porridge
she tried to feed me.

She was fierce about this place.
Hers! Hers! Hers!
Even on her deathbed, 
she railed against giving it up
Against giving life up.
Although her life was nothing much then
Only ravings, and jealousies, and ownership, and greed.
No, i do not think i want this house.
Not its lime trees
its luscious mangoes
its gardens filled with hummingbirds and hibiscus.

Wouldn't she begrudge even the smallest mango i place on my lips?
Wouldn't her ghost continually roam it?
And i have neither the spirit nor the stamina
To argue long into the night with an angry ghost.

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