Bearing and other poems

BRITNEY GABBIDON

Bearing

Caladiums fan out
between the small hills of bone
of my hips like waves,
stretching skin thinner
so sunlight can pass through,

fatten their pink veins
until they swell
into stretch marks,
make a mother of me.

Reverie in the Seventh Month, Growing Bananas

I wish to grow as many hands
as a banana tree
with peeling broad-back leaves,
yellowing
and a red-purple braid
to hit my knee as I sway
my body at ease
the wind– turbulent, entrancing.

The Sculpted Women at Good Hope Estate

To the woman with the weighted neck,

Your torso was made snake,
made elongated, sag-skinned thing
and your neck giraffe’d
to carry the mass of your sister
and the onus of mosaic between you
You were stripped of your cloth
and given bronze to slope your chest
Hilly backside and river-mouth legs,
you carry yourself so well.

To the washerwoman, Abba,

They say you were born washing.

We must be birthed from the womb of declaration
Whose naming so paramount
as to buckle back, compress breasts against belly
bust hips, unseam thighs to clean cloth?

I heard they unclothed you
when you begged to be called
by another name.

Britney Gabbidon is a poet from Kingston, Jamaica. She was a shortlisted candidate for the Poet Laureate of Jamaica and Helen Zell: Young Writer’s Prize for Poetry competition in 2018 and 2020. Her work has been published in Interviewing the Caribbean, The Caribbean Writer, Intersect and New Voices: Selected by Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica 2017-2020.

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