Heathrow International immigration 2007

When she hear say dem haffi go back, 
Charlene start feel like dark night, 

She drop so much style pon she friend dem 
back a yard, now dem ago laugh afta her. 

yet it never sink in, till she start see people beg
and sob. It bruk her heart fi see the two pickney dem 

a hug up, ah look like poor ting inna di corna. 
Fi her stomach drop till it meet her big toe,

mek her fall braps pon concrete floor and bawl.
One smart dress ooman start hiss inna posh voice,

Get up, get up, have you no shame. 
If she never feel so bad she woulda box her down.

One pleat skirt granny, pull her up, tell her 
fe stop cry, tru God know’s best. 

How she did want to spit in God’s eye that day!
Wha God know bout shame and sacrifice?

Lord Gad,  all di money spend pon Visa gone,
dem nah even gi her back di flight money.


Malika Booker is a British writer of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage. Her poems are widely published in anthologies and journals including: Out of Bounds, Black & Asian Poets (Bloodaxe 2012) Ten New Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) the India International Journal 2005, and Bittersweet: Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry (The Women’s Press, 1998).  She has represented British writing internationally, both independently and with the British Council including Slovenia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Russia. In Spring 2005 she was sponsored by the Arts Council England for a three-month writer fellowship at the India International Centre in Delhi. She has also written for the stage and radio. Her one-woman show Unplanned, toured nationwide throughout 2007. Her collection Breadfruit was published by flippedeye in 2008, and recommended by the Poetry Book Society. She was the first Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and her collection Pepperseed is forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press in 2013.

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