after Mahtem Shiferraw

a corner shop not on a corner;
as ironic as the friendship
between its owner and the little girl from Soba, who lived above it.

they played pretend and teased each other
like he was at school, or she was his age;
peers somehow.

most mornings, laughter joined their commutes;
welcomed in as a kindness they gifted
in place of promised sit-downs and cups of tea.

next time;
til she moved, or he left, they can’t quite remember.
all the while trading gentle teases
about pig-tails and old age.

Part of SAWTI Zine Issue 1
Eljae’s poetry centres on the doing of relationships, and the ways in which we make ourselves as people. Featuring at nights such as Boomerang, Brown Sugar Movement, and Poetry and Shaah she has loved every second of her poetry career so far. Previously published online and in collections such as, I Know Two Sudans and The Colour of Madness, along with the upcoming Azza fi Hawak, Eljae is excited to share with you these two pieces, on her grandmother’s unnamed lessons and her own recollections of finding home in otherness. Her next step is to publish her first pamphlet, which she hopes will invite you to understand how she has created herself.”