Came here when I was 10 years old.
Often heard that the English streets were paved with gold!
Not quite sure I knew what that meant, in all honesty,
It's just something I kept hearing, constantly,
From elders, obviously.
I assumed they'd seen stories about England on TV.
But, guess as time approached,
I'd have the opportunity
To see with my own eyes.
And when we arrived in January 1975 - "permission to swear?"...
Nothing but white, fluffy stuff everywhere!
This must be the gold I kept hearing about!
This must be it, this must be gold.
It has to be, cause I can't see the road.
But no-one said that gold was cold!
We arrived at our address in NW10.
This was home, where we'd be staying.
When my stepfather opened the door
Yummy smells were coming from the kitchen.
Thought he'd laid on a feast for us
But when I walked in, my face dropped!
Strangers! Who were this couple?
If I'd spoken, it wouldn't have been subtle
So I said nothing!
We walked into a tiny room, which only had 1 bed.
Then realisation hit!
This wasn't just our house.
We were all in the same boat
The kitchen, bathroom and toilet had to be shared.
I became more of an introvert!....
We did eventually find our own place
And I welcomed my own room, and much more space!
Many, many years have since passed - 46 to be exact
But when I look back,
I'd be lying if I said it didn't get a whole lot better
And not sure I'd want to change any of it either!
But, sadly, I lost my Mother, in 1984.
Hadn't experienced that kind of pain before.
I'd lost family members of course,
But Mum and me were tight!
Most times it was just the 2 of us.
I've been back to the Caribbean many times
And it's an important journey to make.
It helps me appreciate
All I've gained
Since migrating to England!
This journey has played a big hand
In who I am today!
I have an open mind.
Yes, I left family and friends behind, but what I've gained is so much more.
Coming here opened many a door!
And I'm doing things I truly adore - Writing, playing sports, visiting the Theatre. England offers an array of things to do and explore!
Dominica will forever be in my heart, my soul, my blood
Because it is where I was born!
But, arriving here in 1975, when I made my Journey
Doors were truly opened for ME!
I say it sometimes, albeit quietly,
But now it's on paper, for all to see - Thank You, ENGLAND!
Your streets were never paved with gold,
And I'm all too familiar with the cold!
But, small fish I say
'Cause the advantages far outway!
The only negative to this narrative
And my only alteration to this script
Is that Mum would be here, to see and read this master piece!
Thank you for allowing me
To share my story!