Breadfruit  and marbles:  rootical folklore
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February 14, 2023

Breadfruit and marbles: rootical folklore

EDITOR: They call me Artocaupus. In fact, my full name is Artocarpus altilis. Apparently, this was given to me by a Swedish man, to help with international recognition of me. I appreciate Artocaupus altilis is quite a mouthful, so please call me breadfruit.

Tell me, have you ever been to St. Vincent and Grenadines? Thirty two islands where the spirit of beauty passed through, stayed awhile, then left her imprint. I sit high up in the tree, entranced by what she has left us. They say my ancestral home in the Pacific was also visited by the spirit of beauty, but I can only take the word of the ones who’ve been there. But I can speak of here, looking over Wallilabou River. And in August they celebrate my contribution, to all that the eye can see.

People and I have a long, deep connection. I have been their staple since the 18th century and because they celebrate release from chains in August, I am freedom fruit. I feel honoured to be celebrated in the same month, that people commemorate their emancipation.

It is the month of the little champion also. Which child will enter the annals of neighbourhood folklore, as the legendary victor of marbles? They will graduate to cart racing and cricket, but for now, they yearn to wear the crown, in the court of diminutive kings.

Focused visage,
Immersed in glass ball strategy.
His turn to roll now,
Another boy of scuffed knee.
Scowl in frustration?
Dance of victory?
I hope he sings,
‘’La da da da da da dee.’’
A plate will be waiting,
Full of breadfruit cookies,
Singing la da da da da da dee.

Natty Mark Samuels