Sheree lives in North Shields, UK.
© 2011 Sheree Mack
After Sharon Olds
At moments when I almost thought of him,
I was wandering through the market
when he was shot.
I was with dappled shaddock. I was in
the vicinity of rough yams, of floppy
green dasheen, of firm breadfruits.
Juicy red bell peppers – and wilted stalls –
he was wading into a sea of sweaty bodies,
lapping onto Woodford Square.
Casting off his silence while I was wandering
crates of coconuts, with broken heads
and milk drying, seeds of a watermelon
dripped along the dusty tracks.
He had settled me from the start, to food,
he cried out in pain, to the wholeness
of stew, how it stood in for that spirit
of home, the mixture of lamb, onions,
tomatoes, curry powder and cumin, trailing
scents through the Parish, hot and thick.
And my son was a moving boat, a touring heat,
he stood shoulder to shoulder with his friends
and demanded to keep his island his own.
He raised his fist into his chest, held
it there and screamed, and fell to the pavement.
And I wandered, calm, amongst the beheaded
red snapper, and crabs, clams, silver prawns
and sword fish, even sharp tooth shark,
strung up by its tail like a wide sail.
There are things I will never know about a mother’s love.
I wandered, ignorant to my son, amongst
the sweet potatoes, marrows with their holy
stripes. He lay there and I walked blind
through the waves.
All work is property of Sheree Mack.
[back to top] [home]
© 2012 SubtleTea Productions All Rights Reserved