share


Locating Strong Woman I

After Carrie Mae Weems ‘The Kitchen Table Series’

 

Hands placed just so, I instructed the mirror to document transformation – becoming my mother with nothing more than a gesture and the sheen of bright red gloss. Who knew ten years later, I’d avoid mirrors that threw her in my face. Did I say all mirrors? Except I was crashing them against concrete. Finding the most triangular edge. Digging the earth of my body for a reflection I could believe. Hospital windows wouldn’t break. I’d know. That was a long time ago. Different time. Today my mother’s hands are a constant shiver. I stand behind her. Frame her hands in mine and pull the lipstick across. The mirror looks at us. I don’t break it. I don’t avoid her eyes staring from my face and hers at the same time. How could I? I’ve now lived long enough to know what it took to be her.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is a Nigerian British poet, playwright, performer, educator and lawyer. A Callaloo fellow, she was longlisted for the Jerwood Compton inaugural prize and has been published widely including by Ake Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and in Peepal Tree Press’ latest anthology, Filigree. Creator of Home Sessions, a poetry development program for young Black poets, Tolu has also led several workshops as well as a series of guest lectures to PhD students at Birkbeck University. More information at www.ToluAgbelusi.com.

READ NEXT

poetry

Issue No. 13

Morning, Noon & Night

Claire-Louise Bennett

poetry

Issue No. 13

Sometimes a banana with coffee is nice. It ought not to be too ripe – in fact there should...

poetry

January 2015

dear angélica

Angélica Freitas

TR. Hilary Kaplan

poetry

January 2015

dear angélica   dear angélica I can’t make it I got stuck in the elevator between the ninth and...

feature

September 2013

For All Mankind: A Brief Cultural History of the Moon

Henry Little

feature

September 2013

For almost the entirety of man’s recorded 50,000-year history the moon has been unattainable. Alternately a heavenly body, the...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required