This poem was written by John Agard – born in Guyana. He moved to United Kingdom in 1977, sailing on SS Empire Windrush which brought the first 500 immigrants from Jamaica in the Caribbean to the UK.

This poem was written for Vince Reid, the youngest passenger on the Empire Windrush, then aged 13.



Behind you

Windrush child

palm trees wave goodbye


above you

Windrush child

seabirds asking why


around you

Windrush child

blue water rolling by


beside you

Windrush child

your Windrush mum and dad


think of a story time yard

and mango mornings

and new beginnings


doors closing and opening

will things turn out right?

At least the ship will arrive

in midsummer light


and you Windrush child

think of grandmother

telling you don’t forget to write


and with one last hug

walk good walk good

and the sea’s wheel carries on spinning


and from that place England

you tell her in a letter

of your Windrush adventure


stepping in a big ship

not knowing how long the journey

or that you’re stepping into history


bringing your Caribbean eye

to another horizon

grandmother’s words your shining beacon


learning how to fly

the kite of your dreams

in an English sky


Windrush child

walking good walking good

in a mind-opening

meeting of snow and sun