Fires and a mother’s absence – A Poem by Henrietta Enam Quarshie

IceFloe Press

Fires and a mother’s absence

Here in this place and time we are together.
Tired skins stretched over brittle bones like the yarn that stretches to cover the buttocks of our youngest. The night is cold and the winds whisper like gossip we are not interested in.

Here in this place and time we huddle together.
We try to keep warm but the cold is within and not without.
Father blows air into the fire in the wall.
His eyes are hazy and he lets out a sigh that echoes through our eardrums.
We know, yes we know he is frustrated by more than just the wet firewood.

Mother may come in soon or perhaps later or not today.
Maybe she will smile and cuddle us beneath her breast.
Maybe she will return with goodies that will distract us all.
Maybe she and father will not sizzle in argument under…

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