You visited for the third time in 21 years.

How was it?
Could they tell?

I wish I could’ve gone with you, but I was feeling too Canadian
I’m sure you understand.

You finally got to taste how the dishes you made at home were supposed to taste.
You learned soursop isn’t sour and there’s more than 2 kinds of mango.

Was Carnival fun?
Did the Soca make you dizzy and the dancing hurt your feet?

I know you were so excited to meet everyone!
The aunts, uncles, and cousins whose names you never remember.

Do you think you’ll keep in touch?
Will you go back next year?

You remember the letter Cicely wrote to the diaspora child held tight to your chest and your mouth twists in shame.

I sent you that letter as a comfort.
I’m sorry it was such a harsh reminder.

With regrets,

Ashley Perrotte

Ashley Perrotte is a queer black artist from Alberta, Canada. She writes poetry on her life experiences. She posts queer-positive art on her Instagram page (linked below).

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