Your yellowing memories
are stacked in dusty corners
where they cannot be darkened
by the phantoms that lurk
between these lonely houses.
There must have been laughter once
somewhere between the cane and the hills.
There must have been children here
blowing puffs from the wildflowers
and running headfirst into the sun.
Now your belly is swollen with scars and ghosts,
and your thighs tremble with defeat.
There are metal corpses in your backyard,
skeletons slumped in the overgrown grass
taunting you with their slow decay.
The world beyond these cedar trees has abandoned you,
pretending to know nothing of old women
who were raped and beaten in their beds
while the owls mourned and the crickets wept.
At night you huddle in the slant of these walls
fearing the violent pummeling of the rain,
fearing God, the moon and your shadow.
On mornings you listen as the earth vomits,
heaves up all the blood, dirt and shame
they made her swallow in the night.
•••Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné has lived all her life in Sangre Grande, Trinidad. She has been writing for as long as she can remember. Previous publications include Bim: Arts for the 21st Century, Heart to Verse: Wordlines from UWI, as well as the online publications WomenWriters.net and Pemmican Press.