Site icon PREE



I sweep in the dark of the morning,
under streetlights,
when Kingston is quiet, where the only
thing on the road is a mongrel dog
that keeps me company
if I feed him.

He will tell me
through a rise in his half-chewed
ears when gunmen come, and
though they hardly see me,
if they do, they’ll throw me a bills
as if I’m the same stray dog I feed
screw up their faces like
my blackness is the stink of the garbage,
that after sweeping
I burn into ashes.

I’ll always watch how they drag men to the
edge of the gully, and
before the men get shot, it’s like God lets
them see me and
stare in my eyes, as if
my little broom can somehow
turn into a machine gun.

The last thing I see is always legs,
hear the plop of their body in the dirty
gully water, a laugh
and the sound of a car engine.

In silence,
I’ll continue to sweep like usual.

Jenelle Samuels is a creative writer, artist, and mentee at the Women@Dior Sustainability and Leadership Program. She is a poet whose work has appeared in Rebel Women Lit, The Caribbean Writer, Torch Literary Arts, Skew Magazine and she is a 2023 winner of the National Library of Jamaica’s Young Writer’s prize for Poetry.


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