c.1967 – Sweet potato n’ callaloo


After Parkes Drugstores came
Timothy Whites and now
by Boots, on the corner
of Electric Avenue,
they’re selling soul food.

Strange at first, but
slowly came a liking for
Jamaica’s patties.
Opened the way to foreign roots
formed into ‘Back Home Foods’
eddoes and ackees
sweet potatoes and callaloo.

Faces reach from scarves,
head-tied against the cold.
In days ahead, bustling
for cow-feet and pig-tail,
the women offer open bags
for warmer foods to tumble into.

from connecting medium (Peepal Tree Press, 2001), © Dorothea Smartt 2001, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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