Is one a dem red-skin woman. She walk een wid her yeye-dem favah fish and her nose kin up. She look pon we like say she jus’ ask her servant gal, “Jane what is all dis rubbish out here?” I did have a good mind fe answer her but is Miss Dahlia side-a me ketch me up and say, “After de woman don’t say nutt’n.” But believe me mam me never even care, for like how de pickney dem didda give me worries, me did just ready fe talk me mind . . . . If dem give worries? Lawd mam pickney don’t stop ya yaw. Me say, Joycie and David up and dung de room! Dem tek Government Place mek play-grung, de way dem ramp …. How, me call to dem yes, but you coulda call to dem till you tired; dem nat hearin’ you. Me haffe lick Joycie she, for she start bore through and through de bench-dem where de rest-a people-dem sit dung a wait. Is from mornin’ we siddung deh you know mam. Passport Office is a place where you have to have strong back and nuff time . . . .Is me you a tell mam? Me know.


For when de pickney-dem father didda get out ‘im paper fe go a England, is one up and dung. You go a morning and you leff a evelin’ and have to go back ten more time. An’ some people don’t have no conscience you know mam: dis ya red-kin woman mussa believe dat because she have lickle high colour she should-a come deh and get way same time while we siddung deh from day-light. And if you see de woman you see mam; her heel rusty in a de boot and her bottom cock-up in a de red frock like masquerade. All dem deh people shouldent wear dat kind-a cloth. And de pickney beside her favah poor ting. ‘Im stand up hip-shotted wid ‘im head heng dung one-side like jackass in a grass-piece. Me wouldn’t want no pickney half-dead so . . . Yes is dem father sen fe dem a England. ‘Im say ‘im want dem come up before de winter. Me dyin’ fe dem gwan mam . . . . Eh hm, me will miss dem yes, but me no mind because fe raise pickney a town is worries yah. As you see dem get lickle bigger dem start tek up company and no bodder put dem head to de book . . . But pickney eye quick you know mam, because is lickle later me realise seh dat de reason why de lickle bwoy stan’ up hip-shotted ‘im mus be have polio, for one foot have on a brace. An’ me dear mam, Joycie and David no see seh de foot wrong long time, an’ a stare pan de bwoy. Me have fe call to dem an’ gi’ dem money fe go buy aerated water. Den when de porter him come in, is one ting again; for ‘im go up to de red-skin lady an start pop speech: “What can hi do for de lady?”


. . . . Missis some a dem no even have to go on de farm work. Dem ongle have fe hear tourist on Harbour Street an’ from dere on you have fe have interpreter fe understan’ dem. Anyway mam de pickney-dem start laugh. Lawd sah, pickney rude you know. Dem will get you in a trouble. But a tell you, me really had to laugh meself, for if you see de porter-man him you see ma’. ‘Im shine like de pot. Everybody start laugh. Den de lickle skempsy brown gal behind de counter call out say if we don’t see de sign on de wall . . . . . Me no know mam; me eye-dem dark an’ it wussara like how Government no put light in a dem place. Anyway de woman go up to de gal and take out her paper dem. But de gal tell her she mus jine de line. So de woman ask if she must wait on all these . . . . Den who else you believe mam? She look straight pon we an say, “I has to wait on all these?” So de young Miss tell her yes, and she say she don’t has time; and if you see how she drag de lickle bwoy ban’ and step out. But I tell you man is a good ting de young Miss put her in a her place, for me did ready fe go on bad like how me siddung deb from day light. An’ moreso me go out a street fe a cool drink and lef de pickney-dem in a de space an’ dem rnek two man come before dem . . . . . But you no know how de man-dem stay: down to de very bus, dem woulda shub you a grung fe get a seat. Bout twelve o’clock me reach de front bench. Den de porter him start fuss fuss up himself. “Move dung. Stand here. Go dere. Answer when de lady call”, an all kind a somet’ing

But no jus show-off ‘im a show-off himself; for all dat no necessary.

But you no know a what, as ‘im have on de helmet and de uniform, ‘im feel you mus’ bow doung to him. Mek dawg sleep pon bed and ‘im want bark after ‘im master . . . . No me dear. Me still no get through. Me have fe get de pickney-dem father fe sen’ letter, and den Justice of the Peace mus sign a form dat dem give me . . . . You gawn? Awright; meself have fe jump roun’ for de water a boil and de food no peel yet, an’ de pickney-dem soon come from school. How Mass Jim? . . . . Lawd Missis meself have fe go back a doctor wid de gas. Well trust in God nuh. Mm hmm, awright. Walk good.