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Poetry by Sheree Mack 

Sheree lives in North Shields, UK.



© 2011 Sheree Mack





Still Life

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.




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