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“Woven Words” by Harriet Anena

“Woven Words” by Harriet Anena

Woven Words

Anna weaved my blanket with words
saying I’d feel warmer. I still shivered
inside, knowing I’d head south
before the Doc’s deadline.

She should’ve draped my casket
with words too. Who knows,
it could’ve been warmer down here.

Stay

Don’t be in a hurry to wake up
when I show up in your dreams
tonight. Stay. You should know this,
the summit gave us longer claws
to nip more boats voyaging
the belly of Mediterranean.
Don’t be in a hurry to open
your eyes tonight. You should hear this,
we’ve built a Europe on the bed of this sea.
Wake up. Board a rickety boat
to our Europe.

Sponge

In my dreams, death is a sponge
soaking up the pain of loss
spilled over my skin.

When I awake, my eyes are still wet
you are still dead.
But, I let the sun in for the first time.


Harriet Anena is a writer from Uganda. She is the joint winner of the 2018 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for her debut poetry collection, A Nation in Labour. Anena’s short stories have been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2018) and twice long-listed for the Short Story Day Africa Prize (2017, 2018). She runs Word Oven, a editing outfit. 


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