photo by Flora Westbrook from


My story begins
With warm sand under my feet,
Dust forming a film on my skin,
The ghost of my sister
Crying to be taken home.

Water hugged my feet in harmony;
My skin stung from the morning rays;
I was melting each day,
Hoping part of me would reach home before I did.

Home welcomed me in a skeleton of memories;
Grandmother lay in the backyard
Sprouting fresh lilies and then thorns.
In a little stone lay at her head,
She had no name;
When we floated,
We took her name to people we barely knew.

The little stone
Is where father sits to ease his engorged feet;
It’s where I lay my head when sleepy;
It’s where we collected rain water for a drink;
It’s where mother cleanses her blood
And where my sister stands when she comes;
In the empty yard, the little stone is home.

Charlotte Akello is a Ugandan poet and writer. Her two poems were featured in 2017 FEMRITE anthology Wondering and Wandering of Hearts. Her haiku was also shortlisted for the 2017 Babishai Haiku Award. She was featured in the writivism@5 anthology Odokonyero and her story was the title story. She has also been featured in Writer’s Space Africa and was recently among the top ten Briggite Poirson Poetry contest. She is currently a medical student at Makerere University.

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