The Things I Miss.

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hot ‘tarmac’ beneath bare feet– slippers abandoned, and fingers

splayed upon the road, seeking to capture warmth for themselves;

 

heat simmering across empty streets, empty roads– waves swimming

in the midday sun: people hiding, waiting, watching the sun;

 

the fragrance of curry in the still air– while savouring cook-up, and swank,

pondering met-em, and the power of sweet dumplings in soup, over

heavy ‘duffs’ (doughs?) in met-em loaded with ripe plantains, and good fish;

 

the grating of coconut, the grinding of handheld mills– mortars filled with

the heavy ‘thump, thump, thump’ of pestles pounding plantains;

 

settling onto dusty, uneven floorboards– church pews half-empty, as

congregants kneel in front: skin aches from the cruelty of sand grains,

intercessor’s prayer drifts, soothing afternoon air enters…carries with it

the sound of children playing in sandy, gravel-strewn streets;

 

walking on cracked sea-walls– slippers in one hand, other…sometimes outstretched,

chasing away vertigo, flirting with gravity until slippers are abandoned:

easing over the edge, pausing to find grip, and toe-hold,

earning bruises for clumsy descents,

having slippers thrown down (be careful! people does throw all kind of thing…),

walking, watching water inch in, feeling water lash out;

 

sapodillas cracked open– so sweet…damn it, so sticky;

 

teeth breaking the skin of ripe cashews– jaw clenching, mouth flooding: half,

the flavour of ripe red flesh giving away to white inside, half, mouth watering,

salivating;

 

half-ripe mangoes– sharp, sweet, tangy, rich with salt, and vinegar, ‘hot, hot’:

the sear of peppers;

 

sitting on the upstairs verandah– wide concrete rail, cool beneath thigh: traffic rushing,

house vibrating from speeding, loaded truck (girl! get down from there!);

 

peaked concrete fence, guava tree’s friend– sitting between branches, ignoring

crawling black ants, the press of concrete against bare-foot: belly full, jaw aching,

book forgotten under arm, tree forgotten after cutlass’ touch (what?! you cut it down?!),

and fancy, incomprehensible new fence winks, with its gold-painted iron points;

 

granny’s fish broth– calaloo, and carrots floating: dish made for two, until she migrates…before

the world falls apart, before the months run together;

 

afternoons watching t.v. up close– sitting on the back of the big chair (couch?): one

afternoon nearly taking the glass-filled t.v. cabinet down, as it tips over when it is grabbed

when someone slips a little too far down the wrong side of the chair back…

it is let go, it rumbles, it settles, glass clinks…a heart beats wild, fast, hard;

 

aunty’s erratic, fast driving– clutching handholds in the ceiling, thanking God

we all pray: praying for safe arrival, thrilled, delighted, as the needle inches higher

(now…do ministers even drive?);

 

you;

her;

me?

 

K.N.O.W. Sunday, June 26, 2016. 12.30 p.m.

5 thoughts on “The Things I Miss.

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