by Shara McCallum

Yu know how yu can see car careening

before it even start accelerate? Is same

with she. In the crib she bawl, she bawl

till she cyan done. All her life as if

she in a race with ruin. I know I wasting

mi breath fi hope one day she go realise

wanting nuh mek yu special. Even I—

who cotch-up miself on the side a precipice

one time and was schupid enough

fi think it a place fi set up shop—

did wake-up quick-quick once mi foot slip.

When edge draw near fi true

only a fool nuh accept the idea of falling

plenty-plenty different from the drop.

Originally from Jamaica, Shara McCallum is the author of five books of poetry, including Madwoman (forthcoming in 2017 from Alice James Books in the US & Peepal Tree Press in the UK), in which this poem will appear.

The Parable of the Wayward Child first appeared in Guernica.

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