A Place Called Home
my mother is dying
each day a piece of her brain goes away
where does it go?
where will I look for it? in the navy blue sky dark
and tight as my aunt's secretary's skirt/ in the holes
the stars leave on the sky spread/ under the mango tree
cool shade/ or the yellow folds of ackee drying on the concrete
step/ between the chip chip chip of the stones she laid on my
grandmother's land to make a drive
to the place
slice the hard cloud/ the earplugged muzak's
sneaky messages of styrofoam love oooee over
the pale greyscapes of icy whiteness.
where? where will I look?
in the long silent fall from the height of this plane
to the blank face of the antiseptic immigration man
coarse hands rummaging through the fragments of mourning
in myold grip/ the hospital's glinting
steel bedside/ computers bleep bleeping
measures of cell, fluid, element and marrow/
the small dark hand on the white sheet's edge
who will I be at the end of these endings?
scraps of me buried in the sheaths of brown
skin wound round the cracked hollow bone
chopped up, upsidedown like Tom Cringle's
Giant Cotton Tree after the bulldozers,
roots bleeding invisible blood into the bright day,
all the ghosts homeless.
O my little nation: my country you are unmapped.