The First time I went to St John’s

By Melicia McCalmon

I was only six when my mother sent a plane ticket for me to leave Guyana and come to Antigua.

The day after I came, she took me to the West Bus Station. She warned “Melly if you get lost, come right back here. Don’t talk to any strangers.

While she was speaking with a friend, I saw an ice cream shop.

Suddenly I wasn’t holding my mother’s hand anymore.

I started walking back to the bus station. On my way I saw a man with a butcher’s knife cutting meat. He looked at me and said “come yah”. I didn’t understand Antiguan dialect then. I shook my head repeatedly while watching him chopping up the meat and gesturing to me with his knife.

I started crying and continued walking fast not taking my eyes off him. I approached a bench and sat there waiting for my mother to come back for me. As I wiped the tears from my eyes I realized my mother was standing in front of me.

I jumped off the bench, hugging her tightly, not letting go no matter what.

Melicia, 17, is a second time entrant in the Wadadli Pen Challenge and at her second go is a Best of Books Promising Writer Pick.


Melicia collects from poet Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau.

Melicia collects from poet Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Wadadli PEN 2015, Wadadli Pen News

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