I swing into my Nan’s house, one loudmouth and two braided pigtails
holding my head pinned in place. School is closed on Wednesday
afternoons. The washing machine tumbles around the ticking of the clock.
Round and round, puny hands are digging deep into the cookie jar –
my first addiction and therefore, I boldly decide, also my last.
Nan begins baking a new batch. Round and round,
the wheels on the bus keep the cassette tape going, too.

                                  And we work and we sing. I misspell
                                  my very first poem, while she’s knitting
                                  Round and round, the needles go

When four baby daughters up in the sky drain her anaemic heart,
tears on Granddad’s photo against her riant chest, I crawl on her lap –
My hug means to tell her, yes, she will see them again but please,
not now. Nurse’s clinical error happened so out of the blue,
grief stunted my growth. 
The new washing machine tumbles without a sound. I picture Nan
on many a nameless auspicious day -but framed on the coffee table,
she looks grave sinking into a heart petite for a body this big.
The clock on the mantlepiece is loud about the cookies and
our kitchen window flowers; how they belong in their jar and pot.
As silly, familiar and orange as those have forever been. My sons
discuss TikToks before cross-dissolving into world politics. Sugar is
still my only sin. Headphones ready- still need to put one thousand nine
hundred and twelve steps in, as it is getting dark outside. Time flies,
and I have walked around the coffee table before.

                                  Round and round
                                  My ball point pen goes
                                  This is Wednesday, this is my home

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Bénédicte Kusendila

Belgian poet-activist Bénédicte Kusendila M.Phil loves nature, music and her family. Her poetry has been published in journals such as Presence, Bacopa Literary Review, Gravel Magazine, Hawai'i Pacific Review, Adanna, Aji Magazine, Ink Sweat and Tears, Haiku Crush "Best Haiku of 2021"& "Best Haiku of 2022"... Maintenant, leading publication for all contemporary DADA art & creative writing, features her poetry in their 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 journal, resp. She also got featured on BBC Radio Kent’s Upload and performed during the 2022 and 2023 New York Public Library’s International DADA Salon. This Summer, she was Artist In Residence at Washington State's Olympic National Park.