Saaro Umar

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Issue Four, Poetry

44340025

Wake
By Saaro Umar


silversun pickups
are so
transcendent.
they like the
soundtrack to
a romantic
comedy right
when the girl
starts running
real fast,
the trees start blurring.
she think she
escaping this
bad lover
when really she
running to
remember
athletics
as a young thing.
she run in
circles for no
reason because
that’s just like life.
they prize you
a medal at
the end if
your legs
carry you well
but that’s
just like life too.
she not
remembering
the gold
when she ancient
she remembering
how she
run real fast,
wind slapping
her cheeks.

when i’m ancient
i’ll remember
my uncles van,
sticking my neck
out the window
the landscape
travelling past,
artefact of a
green screen.
mama turning dials
like she infusing each
with a gentle prayer,
i look for
the perfect playlist
to match
the grass &
trees, like any
other place
herds of cattle
by men
wrapped
in off-white cloth,
not like any
place i seen.
some had coils
cut sharp
across their
foreheads,
it look like they
borrowed a wig from a
pharaoh. mama
said she once knew
a white lady who
married their chief
& fully goes like
us—
drinks camel milk for
breakfast &
lives with no wakes
she said i met her once
but i can
never remember
these things.
i see so many faces
that are aunties &
cousins i
just kiss everyone on
the cheek
three times &
hope they know why


Saaro Umar is a Oromo poet. Her work has appeared in Australian Poetry, Demos, Voiceworks, Expound and Scum amongst others. You can find her at @saaroumarr.

Photograph provided by Loni Jeffs.

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