The leaves are busier than my mother on a Sunday morning by Niesha Okere

And they don’t work. But sometimes the leaves follow Daddy from his car to our front door. They form a ladder to gather around the keyhole. That’s why we never know the hour he returns. As a reward, Daddy lets a few leaves inside. They face plant into a small golden bowl that’s filled with house keys to snuff out the clinks of the early morning. I look outside my bedroom window. I see leaves dancing in our empty driveway. When they get into fights I pretend not to hear. It’s none of my business. Sometimes the sound of my stomach breaks up the party. Before I can say sorry, the leaves make their way to my window. Stupid me opens the window. The leaves climb inside my mouth. My hunger absent. I go downstairs. There are leaves on the kitchen table bumping their stems with Mama’s Blue Magic and curling iron. Mama pulls into the driveway with a car full of groceries. She flicks a cigarette out her car window. It lands on a couple of leaves chatting close by. One of the leaves takes a puff and then walks it back to her.


Niesha Okere is a writer from Philadelphia. She studied journalism at Temple University, and her writing is published/forthcoming in Variant Literature, Allium and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook Blue Girls is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.