Sapling legs bend smoothly, power foot in place,
her back, parallel to solid ground,
makes her torso a table of support.
â€œEs yusef na me back; I ge fo carry yu, me pikin.â€
Iâ€™m unconvinced â€“ 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 â€“ less than one â€“ 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 Grannyâ€™s legs each
time Iâ€™m ready to take off when Iâ€™m on my marks
to get ready, get set, and go!
~ Kadija Sesay
Kadija SesayÂ is an award-winning literary activist and cultural nomad. Sheâ€™s the publisher of SABLE LitMag, and edits anthologies of writers of African and Asian descent. Her poetry collection â€˜Irkiâ€™ was shortlisted for the Glenna Luschei PrizeÂ (2014). Her forthcoming poetry collection is â€˜The Modern Pan Africanistâ€™s Journeyâ€™ for which she has created an app.Â She isÂ aÂ scholarship PhD candidate at the University of Brighton, researching Independent Black Publishers in the UK.
Editorâ€™s note: â€˜Shootsâ€™ was first published in â€˜Irkiâ€™ (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) and appears here with kind permission from the poet and the publisher.