My Caribbean Mother / ernestia fraser

Is a dancing banana tree
Caught up in the windstorm of time
Her hips are full of water and manna
Her heart is a vast plain;
Trees are her thoughts and oceans, her memories.

Though there are a thousand footsteps
On her front porch,
No one can cartograph her soul
Her greatest secrets are kept secret
She knows the science of love
And of enlightenment
She sings the songs of angels
And in the great courts, is heard.

Her smile is as wide as a watermelon
Her teeth, seeds in its flesh. She sprouts
And grows, and holds back a reservoir
Of youth.  Her beauty is immaculate.
It is strong and armored like the bark
Of an ironwood tree. She falls only to dance and sleep.
She dreams of life giving hills.

She is at war with hatred and foul pebbles.
She walks the streets at night
Two long arrows at her side.
Her hands are made of pickles and bush
She stirs the water in the pot
And many fishes are slain.

Her dowry is a netted gold scarf
That she wears around her neck
She is a proverb to a fool
And nourishment to destitution.
She rises on the far side of the sea
And when the sun goes down
All that is left is a cool breeze
And the music of harp and fist.

•••

Ernestia Fraser is a young Bahamian who discovered her passion for writing at Messiah College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She holds an M.F.A. in Screenwriting at Chatham University in Pittsburg, teaches History and Religious Knowledge at Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy, Nassau, and is working on a few manuscripts and plans to pursue a screenwriting career.

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