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A Sunday Afternoon

A Sunday Afternoon
Ruby McKie

A Sunday afternoon
At my grandma’s kitchen table
As she retells me her memories
From her youth in Jamaica

Youngest of seven
Surrounded by family, land and sun
Left when she was seventeen
As I am now
Listening to her recollect her best times

The village was hers
Surrounded by brothers, sisters and cousins
Aunty Alma and Mrs Meredith with their competing ice cream stands
The uncles:
A mechanic, train driver, one who distilled rum
And one living in America,
Working for the air force.
A grandmother with a grocery shop,
A grandfather who owned a farm

The land vast
The air fresh
The night sky splattered with stars
Everything within arm’s reach.

She left some time ago,
Out to the grey and cold.
Where the houses were cramped and semi-detached,
The people sometimes cruel.

Going to the sea
Splashing with her friends in the river behind school
A place where she could play and shout
Her days filled with church, family and school

Now she holds out her memories
Captured in old photographs
Withering away