Bridget Ankunda



When I bring my weary body home,
neck feeling compressed and sat upon,

I wish to be unclasped of heavy jewellery,
have my knuckles cracked just how I like.

I wish to be spread across a table and kneaded with oil,
to have unhurried hands run over the rolls of my belly.

I wish for good weather,
and a feathery playlist.

I wish for a scalding bath.
Lukewarm water does nothing for aching bones.

I wish to sit under a dim light,
and call memories back to me in nostalgic sepia.

I wish to slither naked into a neat bed,
sheets still smelling faintly of sunlight.

Instead I have rumpled sheets and dirty laundry,
and a reality show about perfect women and the doctors who make them.



For one woman, peace is a name,
so christened in the hope that one day she will find it.

For another, it is the weight of a wedding ring,
hefty and reassuring, like the man who bends the knee and presents it.

For one, peace is the way ladies keep their legs together to preserve themselves.
For another, peace is what comes after two people commune.

It is ten minutes of quiet hair combing.
It is the disappearance of a breast lump.
It is the cackle of a happy toddler.

Some people think of peace like the stillness of a sleeping house,
but sometimes peace is movement.
It is when under their breast, another person’s heart beats to its own rhythm.

Cover image: Ins Nachbarhaus, Paul Klee, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.