The Caribbean Writer

Woman Descendant

Cynthia James


Tanty Merle
Vibert Mother
Miss Clothilda
Mother Eva

this is your daughter
your eyeball and treasure
garden of pleasure
landscaped and landscraped
from nanny to granny
feeled-up and softened
in my sapodilla-sweet belly
handmaid for the legacy
faithful beyond duty
ribbed as ivory
durable as ebony
my womb is eternity
my backbone is history
but drunk from astonishment

asking permission
to banish the myth
that I best bear sorrow
in the tallow of my body
bountiful in recovery
to be free from fixations
that commend me and degrade me
disrepect me in respect
mock me with praise, canonize
iconize, idealize, immortalize
treating me worse than the enemy
mark me as martyr
impale me in literature
climbing down my rockstone

for mine is
the power
the glory
to live


Copyright © Cynthia James

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