Pamela Mordecai

Jesus Gives John to Mary for a Son

Don’t know why but my spirit don’t take
to dat John chap at all. Is true
him one of de lot of disciple

wouldn’t leave, stick wid Jesus till now,
stay right down to de last—though talk truth
him don’t have too much use

for him don’t make no protest,
don’t put up no fight. Him just move
when dem shub him to left and to right

while is not a few kick dat de girl
Magdalene land on nuff soldier shin.
One of dem take a spear

and him jook she and me, and she
double her fist, fix him good
wid a thump. Him let out one loud squeal

and Jesus raise him head
and nod when him observe what transpire.
“Dat’s my girl!” him breathe out on a sigh

(me barely could hear what him say),
“for I come wid a sword to set man
against man till de lot of you figure things out.”

Is a contrary fellow, Jesus, my pikni
for him well know long time how me feel
about John, but de one him just say

me must take for my son, de person
him appoint to mind me like him Ma?
Don’t is him John same one?

de book

Pamela Mordecai’s previous collections of poetry include Journey Poem (1989); de Man, a performance poem (1995); Certifiable (2001); The True Blue of Islands (2005), and Subversive Sonnets (2012). de book of Mary is set to be published in 2015. In 2006 she published Pink Icing, a collection of short stories; her first novel, Red Jacket, appeared in February, 2015. She has edited and co-edited ground-breaking anthologies of Caribbean writing including Jamaica Woman (1980, 1985, with Mervyn Morris); From Our Yard: Jamaican Poetry since Independence (1987); Her True-True Name: An Anthology of Women’s Writing from the Caribbean (1989, with Betty Wilson) and Calling Cards: New Poetry from Caribbean/ Canadian Women (2005). Her play, El Numero Uno had its world premiere at the Loraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto in 2010. In spring 2014, she was a fellow at the prestigious Yaddo artists’ community in upstate New York Pam and her family immigrated to Canada in 1994. She lives with her husband, Martin, in Kitchener, Ontario.