We unfold from the car into the chapel,
my handbag once her favourite,
my brother, baffled without his mother to tease.
The eclipse dulled. Sunshine mocked
the lateness of a March afternoon, last service.
Il Divo sing Mama as requested.
It loops four more times, four more times.
The words flood the space, darken
his suited shoulder, dropped low. Head bowed,
his fingers console mine in a bereft search.
Blue Mountain Coffee
My name is William Rae, a Scotchman,
of England too, and belonging
to Kingston in the county of Surrey, Jamaica.
I hold dominion beyond my death.
Coffee fields, carved from rain forest
and sweat of my workers, unfold
above shaded valleys by seasonal springs.
I planted my fortress house
on a precipice over the Caribbean.
Beyond its wraparound windows,
hibiscus, blue mahoe, the jester call of parakeets
thrill me as I correspond at my desk.
At Arntully, Eccleston, Mount Reserve I grow sugar too,
sell land in Rae Town to freemen of colour.
Pray, be aware, John Morin Esq. is my brother-in -law
and trustee of my affairs. My legacy builds the Empire.
Blue Mountain Rupture
In Kingston’s Great House the master
absorbs the tilted shift
like the clanging hinges
of metal deed boxes.
He tremors among the mangle
of marble chips
and coffee bean sacks.
His plaster-floured skin flinches
through the slaps,
————the whip cracks,
echoes of his field hands’ daily moans.
Their huts lie
He rattles and rolls
———–through the dirt
———————–under yellow fog
and a copper sun,
Threads of fire spark from the Duppy’s chains.
Pancaked by jolts,
smitten to his knees,
his life’s work is demolished
Maggie Mackay, an MA graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, has a fascination for family history. One of her poems is included in the award-winning #MeToo anthology while others have been nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem and for the Pushcart Prize. Another was commended in the Mothers’ Milk Writing Prize. Her debut pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’ is published by Picaroon Poetry.