She speaks often of sunnier times. playing kabbadi with her sisters and trips to Mombasa seaside. on the rainier days, she helps me to navigate this world when my mind is too loud. Our language is, to me, the most comforting sounds with its borrowed words and familiar intonation. embodying the journey of a displaced generation that they never taught us about. Here we are now in this northern estate, my heart still fills when we share a plate. sat together on the rug, we tear the bread and pass it around.

I am the granddaughter of a sleepless shapeshifter who has demonstrated sacrifice and strength in equal proportions. She will defend her pride endlessly. with sleeves firmly rolled since the moment she crossed the ocean. She reminds me often, that she raised me in my parents’ absence. I do not know, still, who is the most proud. but I promise you she has a wicked laugh. One that has brought tears to my eyes and probably always will. I have the privilege to know how that sounds.

Lidget Green

Sky blue ford with steering wheel lock

Play football in the late nineties heat

Behind our concrete square

Our terraced houses lent on each other

My friend shared the name of my mother

She was two years older

A neighbour, far bolder than I

We played house-house in the loft of our houses that held each other

And chased each other down the back street

We all live, apart from her;

Still playing football in the late nineties heat




In memory of Beena, a childhood friend x