Author: Linda Kaoma, Childhood & Family, Identity

You are pregnant

I know it now

I did not know it then


I am about six years old

You are a young mother


I look up into you

the way one would shoot

their eyes into a starry night


You’re caramelized glory

hair tied back

every strand accounted for

bouquet-ed by a floral hair band

your top is cut

from the same cloth

and the flowers bloom

across your belly


Your hands are busy

over a stove

but your attention is stolen

by a landscape

framed by a tiny window

In a tiny kitchen


You are not crying

but I sense

your sadness gathering

I knew it then

I know it now


You speak to me

assuming I don’t understand

but I understood then

and I understand now


I am leaving him you know

I believe you

because I’ve heard you scream this

at him and into vacant nights


I can raise you and your brothers

by myself


you are full of running

but you never leave


You thought I could not see you

I saw you then

I see you now

you spent your life

in tiny kitchens

looking through tiny windows

that framed landscapes

you would never reach


I spend my life


for the both of us

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