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.

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