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;
most mornings, laughter joined their commutes;
welcomed in as a kindness they gifted
in place of promised sit-downs and cups of tea.
til she moved, or he left, they can’t quite remember.
all the while trading gentle teases
about pig-tails and old age.