(Photograph by Amenah Waseme)

UK Inheritance


You sold the house we owned
And left us destitute
Removed mama from her throne
And abandoning your own yout*
 
The Windrush catastrophe
Said they don’t need you no more
You can tek yourself elsewhere
We’ve bolted the entry door
 
Caribbean people in the UK
Are the colonizers’ children who resist
So many went to stay
They are why the industrial revolution exists
 
Marching for reparations each year
August first named Emancipation day
So how do we measure this new dawn
When far right governments are ready to slay
 
What heritance can we claim?
With promises and structures being disbanded
So many people clutching at straws
That represented a future imagined
 
Testing times for us all
This twenty-first-century space
Some ancestors are watching with scorn
As the colonizers rewrite the race
 
UK inheritance has no home
For many Africa is the place
A new unknown possibility
Where we will meet those who have the same face

*children


Mbeke @Waseme1 is an international Education Consultant, who has supported those who worked in formal and informal learning environments towards a changing paradigm of teaching and learning. She has lived and worked in Jamaica, Ghana, the UK, and Malaysia where each placement lasted for three or four years.  She worked as a volunteer in Cameroun for three months. She has written for many years and her skills as a writer of short stories have taken a leap forward in the past eighteen months. Mbeke’s most recent work was featured in This is Us, Black British and Female (2019) and Trusted Black Girl. Challenging Perceptions and Maximising the Potential of Black Women in the UK Workplace edited by Roianne Nedd (2018). Her body of work includes a series of articles and interviews on health and business which first appeared in the UK publication African business and culture. Her short stories have appeared in Fifth Estate, Dovetails, Pure Slush, The Writers café,  with essays, and academic articles in Pambazuka and 72M.  She is currently living in the UK for the first time in 10 years. 

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