Courtney Conrad is a Jamaican poet. A Roundhouse Poetry Slam runner-up and a BBC Fringe Slam finalist, she is also an alumni of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and a Poet in the City Producer. Courtney has competed internationally in Philadelphia at CUPSI. She was a featured poet at Glastonbury Festival and UKYA City Takeover Festival. A participating poet in the BBC Words First Scheme, she was published in the Field Notes on Survival anthology published by Bad Betty Press. She was longlisted for the Women Poets’ Prize. Courtney’s poetry explores the intersectionality between Black, Caribbean, Queer, Christian and Womxn identities.
Always owing something more
Responsibility forbids gallivanting. You crawl, waddle and stride; watch your mother rock work promotions to sleep. Her eyes-only encounter planes whilst putting new school uniforms on the line. Mother engraves onto walking golden figurine and your future moulds. Nuh bodda bring nothin less dan ‘A’ inna dah house yah, yuh hear. Mi wall dem need likkle decoration wid some certificates. 'What’s next' props up 'congratulations'. Dent and rust polish the plans you have for yourself. Aunties on WhatsApp pop style with your cousins’ report cards. The phone rests on lap, your mother’s exhale resuscitating an entire cemetery. A dis mi pop lock over oceans fah, mi nuh even hav nuttin good fi talk bout. Memba seh mi neva have di chance. Clenching fist form prayer hands. You barter unwavering faith for an applaudable moment. There is no room for weariness when ageing claims parental pine box. Freedom comes with the final word of your mother’s eulogy.