Pudding (Bajan Bread)
I think of it, the bowl of pudding
mix in my grandmother’s lap.
She sat on her old hammered chair,
her arms twined around the bowl,
the way she must have held her children.
My grandmother slapped, turned
thick clouds of yellow batter over
into it self, the way cornmeal is rolled
in okra to make coucou.
Her feet rocked back and forth
to the beat of her slapping spoon
as she scraped the brown sugar,
eggs, vanilla, and flour batter
from the bowls edge.
As she whipped, the smell of batter
warmed my stomach.
I watched her pour it into dented silver pans,
as if it had a life of its own,
watched it rise,
like my mother’s chest
when I buried my face between her golden breasts.
They too smelled like pudding.
I thought my grandmother a god
who created food from her lap,
molded and shaped by her hands.
— Kimberly Renith-Joy Licorish (Marion County)
Kimberly Renith-Joy Licorish was born in Barbados and moved to the United States when she was 16. She first became interested in literature and poetry after listening to Alfred Pragnell, Barbadian storyteller and writer. Her poems are inspired by her country Barbados—its music, history, food, people and festivals. Her poetic work has been published in the IUPUI magazine genesis, and she has received numerous awards for her poetry.