Cotyledon by Emma Turner




I am half girl half boy

And it is ok to be ugly here

Skirts flapping where we walk

under the tallest trees with

the soil dry as an old river bed

You belch louder than the wind

and we are safe

to sit down under the palms

with our legs spread wide, belly’s 

untucked with the dirty details 

spilling from lips about the

men in the village

how sensitive they are,

protecting the rules they made 

which we tend to destroy


Oh, if only they knew our secrets, 

the things we share

how in the night

you cannot see 

the small brick maze built around 

and inescapable. All the corners

to get stuck between. Almost too hard

to feel through…


But, here, you can be you, 

under the limbs and leaves

where the eyes that always follow

are not of concern because

they will never know of the well,

it’s shape and depth, this paradise

where you gather water and return 

the yoke without any liquid spilt,  

finding a way to send that

round silver ball falling backward,

propelling something back into place.

Emma B. Turner is a feminist writer, artist, and farmer who studied English at Tufts University. When not busy making things, Emma enjoys reading and walking in the woods.

Creative works (literature, art and culture) emerging from Nigeria.

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