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His Heart

turned against him in a chicken shop
he said, my heart is falling out

as he slipped into dreams
of his mother in Jamaica

he came through in hospital, longing
for that woman, dead twenty years

his son visits and they spend
half an hour holding hands

there is a needle in his arm
and blood in his colostomy bag

he asks the nurse if he can go to the post office
to buy his daughter a postcard

but forgiveness does not
have an address

Madge is the first girl he kissed in Jamaica
white floral dress, scent of thyme and summer

she visits his hospital dreams
Madge is not the nurse who dissolves

painkillers in his water
he does not drink with his eyes open

his son turns on the radio
it is A Rainy Night In Georgia

his son, a blur
on a wooden chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an excerpt from the 2019 shortlisted book by Raymond Antrobus.  Read more

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