General

Cousin Lucy

When me did lickle a country, yuh know, me use to have one cousin name Lucy. Me say, nobody nuh bright like Lucy. Spell, read, do math, you name it Lucy can do it. But di ting me know Lucy coulda do is play Jacks. All day, all night, Lucy a play Jacks. She back-hand, she throw, an you cyaan follow fi har hand. An mek sure seh you get first game for she naah out. An when you just a learn fours and twos, all thirteen Jacks Lucy just voops-voops and dem disappear two-twos. Poor Aunt Doris use to call out:

“Lucy, go tek up yuh school book.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Lucy answers.

But still Lucy a play Jacks. Til Aunt Doris come out wid har strong leather belt, an Lucy fly like when yuh put turpentine unda horse tail. An jus as fass as she play Jacks, she done har lessons. An when scholarship time come, who fah name dat eena Gleaner big an bold but mi cousin Lucy. Full scholarship! Aunt Doris hold har head strong and proud, for har daughter was di only one in di district fi ever get full scholarship.

Me tell, yuh di truth, me nevah meet no pickney yet like fi mi cousin Lucy. Especially once me come a dis foreign. For as big as Lucy get, wid bosom an all, she still use to play Jacks wid we lickle children. An she skip, climb tree an push we pon swing-song pon di pimento tree same way, (an mek me tell yuh, nobody coulda push yuh higher dan Lucy), play moonshine baby, everyting. Missis, all me see nowadays a pickney a try gwaan big before time.

Me say, chile, di odda day, I went on di mall, an a helluva mall it was. Everyting fi ketch yuh eyes so yuh spend money yuh no got. Anyway, chile, ah was walking in di mall an admiring di handiworks of a man when me see dis lickle ooman a waggle-waggle toward me. So me start admire how she lickle an cute. When me tek a stock, unda all a di makeup an big ooman clothes was a pickney gal bout ten.

Chile, ah stop, amazed, for if a did me, when mama done scrub wid Fab an wash brush, me nuh have no more face lef. An if har mind give har she use lickle Chloro-do bleach too. Missis, dem yah foreign pickney grow up too quick. Dem nuh know how romping sweet til night come down an mama holler out:

“Oonu go wash oonu foot, pickney.”

An everybody go a pipe, wash dem foot, an dive eena bed. An Lucy tell we duppy story an big bway story til we drop asleep wid wi head eena har lap. Dem yah foreign pickney nuh know life, man, dem nuh know life at all.

About the author

Vjange Hazle