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A soft pillow retreat after belly-crawling the
Namib, sugar water after jumping Bloukrans.
clean sheets on Friday : not silk – not
new – not Egyptian, no – here a tiger caress, firm as
gravity’s paw, cradling dreams inside bodies, a
bombyx mori brushing its teeth to spin.

A smile with a lingering soft eye, a telephone voice
calling through nations like Alexander Graham Bell.
An echo in the Cango caves pronouncing feelings
carefully – you are always welcome here – you are
Always welcome here.

Mamma’s curry, a secret ingredient retold like a
fairytale between generations. Watching a movie
alone without feeling lonely or self-conscious.
Pyjamas all day sometimes, freedom’s
occasional right to be lazy.

Suntanning on the front stoep in summer. Talking
to neighbours over a low fence. Hanging out washing
while drinking fizzy Double O cooldrink from the
funnel bottle rim – raspberry red, sparkling cream soda,
and iron brew. The scent of small yellow-green platbos
flowers, that milkwood tree, in the January sun.

Belonging even when the coin
is square, even when the key is a knife.


By Ferial Mohamed

I am in the process of graduating my Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of Cape Town. I have also been a practicing attorney for many years, but am now working as a freelance editor. My poetry influences include Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Gabeba Baderoon.

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