Written by Olly Nze
Art by Karolina Grabowska


It was always to the black suitcase
Battered edges trimmed in scarlet
That my mother went to pray

She laid out pieces of herself
Fallow, dusty, frayed
And bid them to remember

Did you know it takes 10 years
Of living, of light
For Ankara to forget it is beautiful?

The cloth of the water never needed to ask
After decades, after wars
What stories her mother’s mother crafted it to tell

As illusions fade
My mother retraces the patterns of akwa miri

In this new stillness
My mother guides her hands towards remembrance

In this new normal
My mother learns to weave