This side of the house, the yard sloped down

Under a rusted shed

Fowl dust and feathers floating

After vacant years.


She came home with black cake

A rum bottle of punch a crème

I could not drink

And sorrel spiced red fresh hot


My hurricane hair spilled

Uncontained, uncombed, unaccepted

Beneath the rusted shed

My mother’s gift hurt


This side of the Castle, a slated roof

No fowl dust, no feathers

My hurricane hair tamed

A bitter gift        Mummy



Lisa Allen-Agostini is a writer and poet from Trinidad. Her latest book, The Bread the Devil Knead, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022. This poem was written as part of a workshop hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects at Killarney, Port of Spain, in November 2023.

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