Sonnet for My Grandparents

by | March 14, 2019

You, doused in sugars from my papa’s cane.

You, a sickening cinnamon burning.

And this plum amidst your wet, fat folds: pain:

It knows of none. Nonna’s dough is churning.


Pubescent grand-kids shunned sugar-gnocchi

All the while adults gorged, and nonna fed.

Tongue-buds grew. Sweet-lover, I came to be.

Yet, knew little of the sugar-cane dead.


My nonna (grandmother)’s hands I hold tight,

And like her? No body can keep me warm.

(Jamaican papa be a thing of light)

And for devoured doughy plum balls we mourn.


Through inky print written in die-a-lect

I seek to resurrect that Jam-ache-an

Voice of nonno roars at Berlusconi

on TV. Soon come the last disrespect.


Gnocchi and grandparents — warm and sweet — say:

“Remember us when we are gone away”.


Words and Photography by Carolina Earle, winner of The Isis 500 Words Informal Poetry Competition 2019.