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.

____________________________________________________________

WINDRUSH CHILD

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

Advertisements