Six Poems by Jenny Mitchell

Well worth a gander

IceFloe Press

Late Monarch of Sad Memory

They trouble me – the anecdotes:

Grandfather with high yellow skin –

a prince because of it,

the dark too close to slaves

masters could not civilise
by breeding up:

seduction with a whip.

He womanised,

heroically hot-blooded

till the gal dem all mosquitoes.

Swatted children violently –
the eight he gave his name.

No one dares to ask if there were outside progeny.
Man big as him, there must be.

He’s all below the waist somehow,
furthest from the heart,
although he was a constable

who fortified Jamaican hills.

Must have been so brave,
policing men as poor as him.

Hunger doesn’t follow rules

unless they’re brutalising.

It’s just the two certificates I’ve found

that bear his name
say Labourer in 1929.

The Crash must have hit hard:
eight mouths, his love of drink.
The last said as a joke

but did he stumble…

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