Pamela Mordecai

Mary Pleads with Jah-Jah for Guidance

Baby-Father, Jah-Jah,
don’t abandon me now!
Dis is very rough waters. Steer me

as I go. I have company here
in my womb, no two ways about dat.
As Archangel take off, as him reel

out him wings, my whole body swim in
to de plenty of things, for it hug
up de world, sky and sun,

lake and sea, fish, fowl, sheep,
goat and cow, crawling thing,
bush, flower, tree—

is like all creation living inside of me.
And is not only dat, for it singing a song
and each spurt of my blood

every breath I breathe—
it drumming in time to dat tune.
What growing inside me is not just a baby,

is every last thing! How me going to recount
dat to Ma? Or to Pa? Or Joseph?
Never mind how me try?

How me going to explain dat same time
my body is transported wid joy
it choking wid dread?

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.