Ginger Flakes

did you hear the news? about Hawa
I heard she’s given up on speaking

it happened yesterday
when someone told her she reminded them

too much of her mother. a tall woman with an
East African nose, and Ghanian skin

a woman with a heavy hand who uses too much
hawaji in her curry and not enough ginger flakes in her tea

she climbs date trees with her bare hands, harvests fruit
and makes cakes for the elderly man with a missing eye next door

a woman with far too many thoughts in her mind
each one bleeding through her skin and forging a

path to her heart

so, she sits back and lets her mother’s
ghost do all the talking

Khadro Mohamed is a poet and writer from Wellington. Her work has appeared in various magazines and online forums. Her debut collection, We're All Made of Lightning, was shortlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and can be found in bookstores across the country.

Khadro comments: 'This poem, like many in the collection, was inspired by my mother, grandmother, and the ghosts of women all across the land of Africa. Growing up, the women in my life often had this air of mystery around them. I learnt the most about both my mother and grandmother through the small moments we shared, through the stories they often told. To them it was small details, maybe even trivial. But the things they did in their youth were often awe-inspiring to me, and so I tried to recreate this dynamic in this poem.'

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