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slights & hurts,
Mother sips tea in her garden on mornings,
abandoning the kitchen that echoes with breakfast,
lunch kits, laces untied, and the dripping faucet.
She sits on a cracked footstool in silence
as the heat from the teacup rises,
whispers warm, comforting secrets
only she can understand.
There are sharp things in the ground
and her hands are soft
but she never wears gloves.
She is not afraid of the damp, dark earth
with its shards of buried glass and crawling creatures.
She has planted hope,
seen it grown tall.
When my mother's hands are in the dew-damp earth
and she is fragile in the morning light,
sharp things are buried in her,
and I realize how the fluorescent kitchen light dims her,
hides the secret flower she is growing
that only blooms when she does.
From Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné's Collection of Fourteen Poems
featured in Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the
Caribbean, Preface by Kwame Dawes, Peekash Press, US Office,
c/o Akashic Books, New York, 2015
MOTHER IN THE MORNING
FORTUNÉ, poet and
artist, was born in 1986
in the twin island
Caribbean nation of
Trinidad & Tobago. She
holds a Bachelor of
Arts Degree in
Literatures in English
from the University of
the West Indies.
Her writing has
appeared in several
local and international
journals, including the
~ Bim: Arts for the 21st
~ Caribbean Writer
~ Small Axe Literary
~ Poui: Cave Hill Journal
of Creative Writing
~ Anthurium: A
Caribbean Studies Journal
Her awards include:
~ The Charlotte and
Isidor Paeiwonsky Prize
by the Caribbean Writer
~ Small Axe Poetry
~ Hollick Arvon Prize
for Poetry (2015)
~ Pushcart Prize (2010
~ Best New Poets
~ Wasafiri New Writing
~ Montreal Poetry Prize
That’s what I love about poetry...poetry speaks not only of
your brain and soul, but of your belly, your bones. It is that
bare truth and intensity that I love so much about poetry...
the physicality of those simple words.
~ DANIELLE BOODOO-FORTUNÉ, EXCERPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH
CARIBBEAN LITERARY SALON, MARCH 2010.
Her poems reveal an essential wilderness. Boodoo-Fortuné's
lines are primed for simplicity and brutality alike, holding
half-drowned worlds of fishermen, of the promises stirring
within buried bones, of mothers loving daughters, and all
manner of unknowable, mysterious selves.
~ SHIVANEE RAMLOCHAN, CARIBBEAN BEAT MAGAZINE, JULY/AUGUST 2013.
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné's poems reveal a preoccupation
with the idea and fact of haunting, the persistence of ghosts,
spirits, and other apparitions that assume an existence
defined by a strange osmosis between the spirit world and
the temporal world... Her poems explore a kind of madness,
not as a condition of mental illness, but as a leap into self, a
profound engagement with a spiritual sense of self.
~ EXCERPT FROM PREFACE BY KWAME DAWES, COMING UP HOT: EIGHT NEW
POETS FROM THE CARIBBEAN, PEEKASH PRESS, NEW YORK & LONDON, 2015.
|I WISH I WASN'T