I grew up in a tenement yard in Guyana, specifically on Bent Street. Two houses flanked the makeshift bridge over the garbage filled oily black water trench that lead down a dusty man-made plank pathway. If I remember correctly several trees were planted in the middle of the yard next to the fail looking pipe that served as a water source for the twenty-something odd people that lived in the yard. My house was simple, except my grandmother had taken a liking to this putrid grasshopper green paint which she plastered across every wall.
But looking back now, I suppose it supplied warmth to the old place. There were six houses in total within the yard, three on either side. The construction was simple enough. The roof was made of tin and a single layer of wood served as the walls. The yard was a makeshift heaven of tin cans, spare wood, sawdust (if we were lucky) and dirt. The place often reeked of what they call a “gander-egg” which is what happens when a fully developed chicken dies in the eye before it is born. When it cracks it leaves behind a most memorable smell, one that I still try to forget to this day.
But even though it lacked everything… it somehow had more than enough.
When lights went out and the thunder bellowed outside, I would sit wrapped up within the enclosure of my netting. The cry of the rain against the tin roof in the middle of the night is hauntingly beautiful. The sound felt amplified, ringing through the house. In the morning the sun would wash over the old and used things that belonged in garbage dumps and renew them with golden warmth. That gilded ambiance seemed to bring out the best in that place.
One morning I walked the front of the yard and stood on the bridge. The sun was still coming up. I looked down at the garbage filled trench. It swallowed the unused things draining the color from every object. To the side there was a flower vine that crawled up the rusted fence. A Morning Glory. From the black muck filled trench a pure white flower would unfurl with the suns awakening. My objective correlative is the morning glory flower. When I remember the flower I remember the place I grew up and the memories of the house I grew up in is all I have left. I have been told that the yard has withered away. The house is gone and for all I know so is the morning glory that guarded the entrance to my childhood home.