For too long I speak of return, a kind
of prodigal fantasy, although, I, face
set against the sun, have long abandoned
the waywardness of the failed son.
My father is long dead, and I was
faithful to the last. Still, postcolonial
that I am, I have built my own myth
of departure, and set aside the romance
of the exile for the pragmatics of man,
family and mission, so that return is to
what might have been had my
ancestors lived longer, had they
held on to the cottage on the hill,
to Sturge Town’s pimento barbecue
decks, and to the green of an Island’s
history marching along the narrow
paths of the enslaved ones trodding
to the cane fields. I return as one
who visited once. Still my heart
goldens in warmth to see the austere
slab with “DAWES” etched in stone.

Image credit: Unknown author