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.