After Carl Dennis “Two Lives” In my other life, my mother marries a man who loves her Enough not to let his family dictate where her life is allowed to go She takes my siblings and I to where she wants, when she wants And isn’t bogged down by sisterly love. My siblings and I go to dugsi with other kids at a masjid Not far from home, where we never have a private Quran Teacher who molests me for years. The mail guy and that random family friend don’t either. And my mother doesn’t have to let young men live In our home so she can make rent as a single mother And none of them molest me either. In my other life, I grow up a normal child who doesn’t Spend her whole life blaming her mother for everything But in my other life, where my mother never married My father—in that life I don’t exist at all And that’s the sweetest dream.
Ladan Hadafow is a writer, poet, biologist, and educator. Tracing back her hometown is work reminiscent of phylogeny but start in Somalia, jump to Kenya, then Egypt, then Portland, OR and finally land in Minnesota where she hibernates through the nine months of winter. Ladan is a Leo, kdrama fiend, and a kindred soul to Yzma. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Papeachu Press and Gumbo Media.
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