Yankee Girl Reverie by Carla M. Cherry

They say a lot of male mechanics dupe women, but not mine.
He is my sweet stand-in for Daddy.

I tease him. “You look like Harry Belafonte.”
I look better, he quips, and we laugh.

I always get a hug and kiss on the cheek
before he asks what is wrong with my car and beckons for the keys.

You have a way to get home?

I could take a cab but I love the lilt in his voice.
I take the ride to keep him talking.

Today I ask,
What part of Jamaica are you from?

St. Mary’s.
It’s a lil country town.
It’s quiet.
No chasing after ten o’clock.
There, you wonder where it is.

I nod, smile about my Some Day-
Caribbean sun browning/breeze licking my skin
mauve hibiscus nestled in the crook above my ear
bunches of Kiss Me Over the Gardens in purple drapes over my hands,
evenings under the red thistle of the bottle brush tree,
a plate of callaloo and plantains
balanced on my knees.

Will you ever go back home to live?

No.
We all say we will but we don’t.

As we drive past the delivery trucks and body shops along Route 22,
smoky air seeps through the windows–
I roll them up, clear my throat, expelling the odor of progress.

Carla M. Cherry
Carla M. Cherry is an English teacher and poet from New York City who has been published in Anderbo, Soar, Obscura, Dis sident Voice, Random Sample Review, Eunoia Review, MemoryHouse Magazine, and Down In The Dirt. She has also published a book of poetry, Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings. She hopes to earn an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

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