Fri | Jun 18, 2021

Honour to the Windrush Generation - Poem for Emancipation 2019

Published:Sunday | July 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Some of the Jamaican men, mostly ex Royal Air Force servicemen, aboard the former troopship, S.S. Empire Windrush, before disembarking at Tilbury Docks, England, on June 22, 1948. They have come to Britain seeking employment.
Lorna Goodison

First Responders to the call to rebuild

England, bomb blasted, needing restoration.

Ambitious, courageous bands of pilgrims

who acquired the seventy five pounds fare

and sailed in tailored outfits with brown grips

to be met with: “Why leave sunshine for here?”

Still they spun straw into mortar and brick,

washed corpses, midwifed, nursed the sick, drove two tier

buses, toiled underground and jobbed in dark mills.

They made Lovers Rock & Cool Britannia hot;

these remitters of sterling to blood kin,

gave of their best to God, country and Queen.

May Respect Due, gratitude, high praise songs,

be accorded this heroic Generation.

Lorna Goodison

Poet Laureate of Jamaica