She could be a ringleader, my mother.
She could lead an armada into barbaric waves
With her cigarette gently glowing
Nestled in the peace sign that forms between her fingers.
She's a contradiction, my mother.
She holds sharp blades to the soft skin of fruits,
As she skins them between her gentle hands, soaked through
With trickles that oozed off their flesh.
She impales the bodies of chickens she prepares for a feast—
My mother holds taut the fat clinging to the meat,
By the sleight of her hand, separates it,
And hurls it into the bin by the kitchen sink.
It hits polythene with a slap.
My mother, she tends to flames with one scarred hand—
Plays corrida de toros with the steak flanks she sears on the pan,
Showers the red hot flesh lying on the grills with boiling hot oil.
Stray droplets singe her skin,
But she goes around the kitchen,
Spinning wild and elegant, in her Paso Doble dance.
Tashfia Ahmed is an English teacher at Scholastica and an Instagram poet ghosting her followers. She requests that you fuel her vigour for writing by leaving her tasteful hate comments in her Instagram @tashfiarchy.