2 of 4 in a series of short stories inspired by Nina Simone’s Four Women.
My skin is black
My arms are long
My hair is woolly
My back is strong
Strong enough to take the pain
inflicted again and again
What do they call me
My name is Aunt Sarah
My name is Aunt Sarah

– Nina Simone

Her veins are pulsing tubers that lay under her skin.
Fingers crooked, scarred and stiff as tree roots.
She rests her bandaged head in them.
Becoming still inside.
Containing her eyes within their lids.

The air around her is stale and smells damp.
Yet, the colours inside are bright and vivid.
A collection of yellows, reds and oranges.
The blues behind the window stirs with the wind.
She breathes in the stale.
Exhaling the damp.


She pushes up from the table,
Her arthritic knuckles press against the oil cloth.
She stands up, surprisingly tall.
Her arms, twisted in the ropes of her age,
Are locked at the elbows –
Supporting her weight for a brief moment.

Before her eyes open.
Black holes of amazing gravity.
Her eyes are held securely in place
By the fantastic colours that keep them.
The blue calls her to the window.
Which she opens.
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