DAMAGE By Juleus Ghunta


The morning mother woke up pregnant,
my father’s job was done.

By sunset, he evicted her with the new woman’s name.

I was born the year hurricane Gilbert came.
At the storm shelter, mother sucked mucus from my nostrils,
boiled bush tea to keep me warm.

After Gilbert, father brought a woman to survey my face.
She pressed my broad nose against his, dark skin against skin,
told him a fi yuh damage dis—this damage is yours.

He added me to his tally of sons and left—
the way a hurricane leaves its ruins.

By Juleus Ghunta


Juleus Ghunta is a Jamaican poet and recipient of a Chevening Scholarship. He is pursuing MA Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. His picture book, Tata and the Big Bad Bull, is forthcoming from CaribbeanReads in 2018. Ghunta’s poetry has appeared in several journals including The Missing Slate, Moko, Easy Street, Chiron Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and has been anthologised in Cordite 81: New Caribbean Writing and In This Breadfruit Kingdom. He was awarded the Catherine James Poetry Prize by Interviewing the Caribbean in 2018. In 2015 and 2016 he was shortlisted for the Small Axe Poetry Prize.

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