Mama King's Letter- Frangipani House

Published: Thursday, 13 November 2014 Written by Ikya Dorival

Frangipani House


East Berbice




18th October, 1986


45 Park Avenue

Apt 303

New York City

NY 10010


Dear Token and Cyclette


My children, I hate it here. I want to go home. How could you do this to me? After all that I do for you? I raise you and your children all my life and yet still this is the reward I get for my long hard years of washing these folks’ clothes? I don’ know what I ever do to allu to deserve such hell! Dis place killing me Token. Token take your mama out of dis place; it ‘ent rainbows and sunshine here for people dies in this terble place. Let me tell you bout dis Satan home!

Token when I come in dis place I was sick sick and at first I like it here cause I was getting better. But after I get better, all I wanted to do was go back home. Token I isa independent woman. I don need nobody to take care of me, I take care of myself all my life. I cannot do nothing in dis goddamn place! When I go outside I cannot walk on the grass; Token you know how much your mama like grass. Before I even step on the grass dis ole bat they callin’ Matron ready to swallow me alive! Even sitting still and thinking to myself is a problem. Token I cyan take it no more. Matron is exactly what they call her- a warden. Dis lady is the most wicked lady I ever meet in my whole life! She talk to the old women how she wan’ to. The only reason she have dis place is to make money off of those poor old people.  I wun be surprise if she does go in her room and pray for the poor old women to die so she wun have to deal wif dem no more. It wun be long until my turn come Token. 

Dem nurses just as wicked as their master, except for Nurse Carey, she is de only one nice in dat place. The rest wicked, rough and heartless! I was sleeping one morning and your mama was so tired I ‘ent even hear when Nurse Agnes call to wake me up, and the wicked witch just pull the pillow from under me, almos’ flying me off the bed!  These nurses come here to kill old people, they don’ care bout dem. All dey come for is de money. To show you how they don care I sen how much letter for you Token. I axe the nurses to sen’ dem to you how much time and I never get letter back from you. I think them nurses not sendin’ my letter for you! They wan’ to keep me here so dat they can keep on getting their money. I can’ take dis place no more Token. My friend, Miss Mason just dies there on her birthday- 90 years ole.  What the smart men call it? Coinsidenk? Like hell! Dey put something in my frien’ food to make her dead dead! She was fine fine in de morning makin’ joke wif us, then as soon as she go to rest all of a sudden she cyan get up. And dem nurses lyin’ to us tellin’ us she a little sick! Token dis place is madness! Full of lies and evil! Imagine Token, as soon as Miss Mason die, dey get a new lady. I tell you dey was planning her death. They kill my friend to make way for anoda ole woman. Mrs. Gomez dhas her name! She was my friend too.  We use to talk together until she get fitz. One day she jus start to shake all ova, and she start to vomit froth. After de fitz she cun move or talk to me no more- all my friends die in dis place, when is my turn Token?

Only two good thing that ever come to me in dis house- Ginchi and Markey.  Every Sunday Ginchi come to see me. She was de only person dat never forget bout me, she always ‘member her Mama King. Markey come to see me just de oder day too. He call in Trinidad an’ he come see me. Markey tall tall and big I feel so proud wen I see him. He stay wif me and we talk for a while, den he sen’ me flowers later. Ginchi and Markey alone dat ‘member me, not even my own children ‘member me. Token you just sen me here thinkin’ I happy, well I not happy Token. I miserable. I feelin’ like I losin my mind. All I can do here is sit down and think, an’ even dat is a problem! All I do here is remember my past, and more I ‘member it is more I feel depressed. Is better I die now instead of suffering in dis place.  Token please your mama need you now. I need you to take me from dis place, I dieing. I hate it here. I want to go home. Token, I hate it here. I want to go home.



Your Mama


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