Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Jamaica NY 1948

I was thin as a waif,
Just two and a half,
Our tiny brown
Courtyard with its tiny
Brown sandbox
Were huge.
Mother’s head
Protruded from a high
Distant window
Surrounded by brick.
I heard
The word, “watermelon,” saw
Its lush pink,
Tasted the meat.
My sister
Brought home
(rich black on white paper)
“the alphabet.” We fought,
it tore.
Once I was
Standing alone outside
The vast gaping mouth
Of our door.
In the courtyard
Were children. I called out
The only two words
I could think of in English,
I meant
For the children to come,
I was longing
To touch them.

Joan Dobbie
Copyright 1989

This poem appeared in the anthology, PATCHWORK OF DREAMS, 1966