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Assault Rifle, October and Becoming: three poems by Keon Heywood

​​Assault Rifle

"Pig ask e mumah wha mek e mouth suh lang

She seh pickney, when yuh come yuh gon know

Me ask me daddie how come he stan suh strong

He seh son, when yuh get big yuh gon grow"

Slowly he exposed the object

wagged it for some to see

my mouth dropped

someone gasped

as he continued nonchalantly

so when the teacher left,

a group of girls and boys

gathered around his desk

to catch a glimpse of his toy

I snatched it,

and went chasing the girls with glee

got caught up in my excitement

tripped and fell on my knee

“come” Said Mrs Buttercup

breathing heavy at the door

and flogged me with pleasure

till my bottom was sore


Frozen I see she writhing inside Trapped I see it in she eye Pink tears roll down cheeks night gown open cold sweat a centipede is now she left breast I count her heartbeats Yes seven years later Ricochet Nine months now

and she still deh hea I keep on fanning de breeze cool she skin All in she bones it now swimming right arm broken lumbar missing leg deteriorating hip de pampers wet

“mom, one of de girls gon change you… yuh hear?” She replies, “God won't give me more than I could bear.”

From 'Becoming III'

Sleep evades me I close my eyes and I see your face contorted I get up shower let the cold water run its way over me freely feel the trickle on my fingers fingering me I watch the waves wash every part I open up unashamedly expose all that's nasty skin back black flesh slowly wasting… it's a waste I'm dying a death like the greedy cracked back animal thrown out of the sky his borrowed feathers snatched he can't fly though my thinking is like lightning

my hearing, smelling, seeing

there's no permanent joy

just a smoke lingering

I'm going but not moving

I'm moving but not going...


​​Keon Heywood was born in 1988 in Georgetown, Guyana. An "Artist at Heart," he has performed as an Actor, Dancer and Poet in Guyana and other parts of the Caribbean. He enjoys working with At-Risk Youth and other vulnerable groups. Keon is an English Teacher and member of the Theatre Guild of Guyana. His first collection of poetry will be published this year.

Keon Heywood 2018


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