For My Father / brenda lee browne

I write because he told us stories

I write to capture the boy he was, without dreams, who worked like a man from age 12

I write because, at 17, he travelled to make his fortune cutting cane and making enough money

to buy an American, Chrome bike

I write for the young man who left his mother’s yard with a valise and pocket full of ideas for streets paved with gold and a five year plan shared amongst friends

I write because it allows me to tell him that I love him from a safe distance

Words bound between pages like the ones he sent his mother in blue air mail envelopes

I write so that he knows that I can see him, that his life matters and his stories are the foundation

On which, I, the writer stand

I write because this is how we love


Born in London of Antiguan parents, to a father who is a born story teller, Brenda Lee Browne always wanted to be a writer. She says, “My heritage informs my writing voice and my continuous quest to answer the questions of where do I come from?” Her work has appeared in anthologies in the UK, USA, Canada and the Caribbean; and she was long listed for the Hollick Arvon Prize in 2013 and an East Midlands Arts recipient in 2000.


  1. This heartfelt piece feels like the love language of the Caribbean. Thank you for sharing.

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