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Sabrina Stuart Smith

Granny’s Bed

If I’m truly akin to the West Indian manatee

is it best to reveal now,

though hearing it said aloud

makes it real for me?


My granny was the same

I heard her swim from mate to mate

breaking down her bedframe

she devoured them all


too late

for me to be lauded

the faithful descendant

I’m surely not. My actions

yesterday prove my lot:

the forever spinning Sirenia

flipping onto my smooth, arched back

allowing shallow current to move me.


In my girlhood dreams, one was enough

but witnessing granny, in my teens

I discover floating carefree

in warm Caribbean waters

my best defiance against modesty.

Why Cicadas?

Am I an outsider

because I fail to hear the cicada hum


because I relish beauty 

in greasy Dutch pots

the aggressive, pencil-tip-like

silver-white scratches

a lasting scent of oxtail gravy

the scorched underbelly

on the heavy sealed coating


because I hear beauty in the 

pinging metal,

the pleasing chatter of my people

taking their place around the table

passing a plate of fried plantains

and cassava pone?


What else is there to savor

if not for the beauty of mom’s kitchen?


Surely I am able to hear cicadas

through a heavy shroud of indifference.

Sabrina Stuart Smith is a Toronto-born/-based writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. She received a B.A. in English from York University and studied Book Publishing at Toronto Metropolitan University. Sabrina previously resided in São Paulo, Brazil, where she studied Portuguese and taught English. Her work is published in Pink Panther Magazine and Shot Glass Journal.

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