Wheel and Come Again

“Wheel and come again” is how Ethlyn once described this circular migration, back and forth from the island, from somewhere to elsewhere, to turn around and start all over again.

Circular migration to and from the Caribbean.

In the passport photo, the nineteen-year-old Jamaican girl stares straight ahead at the camera. Hers is a poker face. She has never blinked, and will not, especially now, ahead of her departure for a new life in New York. Her face does not betray her excitement. An aunt in Harlem has promised to sponsor her. But something goes wrong; the trip is canceled in the fallout from a vengeful family feud. The girl in the photo, Ethlyn, is my mother. She will give birth to me fifteen years later in Luton, an industrial town in the UK.

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