My Mother’s Salt / nicholas damion alexander

My mother cooked with salt,
flavoring our lives
with the spice of her choice . . .
A white grain from the sea
that added new worlds of taste
to children made of mixed spices.
My father loved his pepper
heating up her pot
with its red flames,
that little masculine bulb
men use to show bravado
about nothing.
We ate of Mother’s salt
all of our lives till we grew
old enough to insist
she travel to the sea
of her spice, away
from the red heat
of our father’s pepper.
Today, fifteen years on
my mother has stopped
cooking with that spice
as white as my father’s skin.
And we have grown accustomed
to his hot spice,
hardly remembering
her love for little white grains
drawn from the sea.


Nicholas Damion Alexander is a teacher of English and Philosophy. His works have been published widely in Jamaica and abroad, including sx salon, Caribbean Voice, Auckland Poetry, The Black Collegian, and the Calabash anthology So Much Things To Say. He earned a 2008 fellowship to Calabash International Writers’ Workshop, and in 2011 was featured on e-Buffet’s online magazine Postcards from the people of Earth


One comment

Comments are closed.