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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 23 page 12

verse

Creole Ocean

by Jerrice J. Baptiste

I looked in
the mirror of her eyes,
a grandmother with
silk headscarf
and a white moumou.

When her ocean spoke
to me, I found
an accent close to our
homeland.
She could tell
I wanted to
pass as one of
her own.

I wanted the Creole that flowed
from mom’s breast milk in
my mouth, to soften
the language on my
tongue, so I could
be seen as real.

My legs fidgety
my breath heavy
at the bakery
on Flatbush Avenue,
I stutter
around Haitians.

She handed me
a puffed pastry
and a blessing.
She asked, “When will you
visit our ocean?”