Sapling legs bend smoothly, power foot in place,
her back, parallel to solid ground,
makes her torso a table of support.
“Es yusef na me back; I ge fo carry yu, me pikin.”
I’m unconvinced – my thick calves dangle;
heavy breasts squashed-up against the shoulders
of her five-foot one-and-a half inch frame.
Her thinned breasts, ridged, matured,
hang like sappos from a tree
as they droop, dried.
Forward leaning, her torso supports
my legs for one – less than one – minute,
me, afraid our bonding may break her,
but her drive leg is ready to spring back, as I slide off,
now knowing it is Granny’s legs each
time I’m ready to take off when I’m on my marks
to get ready, get set, and go!
~ Kadija Sesay
Kadija Sesay is an award-winning literary activist and cultural nomad. She’s the publisher of SABLE LitMag, and edits anthologies of writers of African and Asian descent. Her poetry collection ‘Irki’ was shortlisted for the Glenna Luschei Prize (2014). Her forthcoming poetry collection is ‘The Modern Pan Africanist’s Journey’ for which she has created an app. She is a scholarship PhD candidate at the University of Brighton, researching Independent Black Publishers in the UK.
Editor’s note: ‘Shoots’ was first published in ‘Irki’ (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) and appears here with kind permission from the poet and the publisher.