Taken from This Strange Land, this piece is one of many that highlights the bond between a mother and child, and perhaps too even life in Jamaica. Shara is another one of the poets whose works I enjoy because she reflects so much of the relationships between people as well as the land of her birth.
Mother and Child
by Shara McCallum
Forgive the sun for shining that day,
light glinting off the mother’s nutmeg skin,
finding beauty in the most impossible places.
Forgive the child,dead in her arms,
for running into the path of a bullet
as if running after the tail of a kite.
Forgive the mother, sending him to the shop
for scallion and thyme, pressing coins
into his palm, promising sweets on return.
Forgive the ground for absorbing his blood,
for muffling footfalls of the one
who fired the gun and fled.
Forgive the mother’s mouth, the wail
lodged in her throat, the groveling eyes
asking too late for someone to intervene.
Forgive the silence of the onlookers,
crowding to see. Forgive even History,
indifferent to grief.