Praise Song for My Mother

You were
water to me
deep and bold and fathoming

You were
moon’s eye to me
pull and grained and mantling

You were
sunrise to me
rise and warm and streaming

You were
the fish’s red gill to me
the flame tree’s spread to me
the crab’s leg/the fried plantain smell replenishing replenishing

Go to your wide futures, you said

Copyright: from The Fat Black Woman’s Poems (Virago, 1984) © Grace Nichols 1984, used by permission of the author c/o Curtis Brown literary agency.

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Grace’s poems are full of the sounds and stories of Guyana, the Caribbean country where she was born and grew up, often drawing on its ...

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