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Poem of the Week: 'iii. Music' by Raymond Antrobus

iii. Music

My mum cleans the kitchen,
opens all the windows, blaring
mixtapes dad made in the 80s.
The ones he would bring round
after he beat her.
His smooth DJ voice croons
Ain’t Nobody’s Fault But Mine
from the tape deck, treating
the wound with music.
In a year she’ll leave him
but for now she sings along,
sweeping cake crumbs
under the table.

Trying to choose just one poem from this anthology was nigh impossible. It’s a thin collection of short, incredibly readable poetry, taking the reader through a story that jumps around in time and space between England and Jamaica, between a young boy with two parents, to his mother leaving her abusive husband, to his reconciliation with his lost father, right up until he dies, an old man with dementia, grievously mourned despite his wrongdoings. I settled for this poem because I think it encapsulates the story as a whole quite well. The last image in particular, a metaphor for his mother’s initial forgiveness, which he will later demonstrate himself. On the whole, it’s a very real, emotive journey through a life, realistic and mature in its presentation of feelings.

Raymond Antrobus' second pamphlet, To Sweeten Bitter is available to purchase on our website here.

Blog entry by Clemmie Joly

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