I never knew I would miss the heat of your sun,
That decorated my black skin with pearls of sweat.
I never thought I would yearn for your sand
That made my house smell like petrichor in your rainy days.
Today, I opened my windows and did not see your face
So, with my mahogany hands, I attempted to fill
The fading sunglow hole left by the daffodils The daffodils
of your gardens.
I wore my clothes and smelled,
the wintergreen dream scent of my grandmother
The perfume of her warm love
Her hugging voice and tender look.
I put my shoes on, and stepped on the road,
But did not meet elders around a baobab,
Who greeted me with smiles,
Waving hands while playing Checkers.
I waited at the corner of the street, next to the bakery
And could not see the faces of my childhood friends
To keep playing hide and seek,
And tearing joy trying to reach mangoes at high peaks.
So, I went back to my room disappointed
But the lap of my mother had deserted
Her soft hands were not in my hair
Her big palms did not hold my face,
My tears splashed loudly on the floor.
I looked at the mirror with puffy eyes,
Desperately searching for the wisdom in my dad’s look
Or the kind lines in my brother’s book
Maybe the cycle of the moon over my rooftop.
Nothing stared back.
But a lonely girl waiting for the echo of home
Her Mahogany hands attempting to fill
The fading sunglow hole left by the daffodils
The daffodils of Dakar.
By Anna D Sene
Anna Diagne Sene was born and raised in Dakar. Anna started writing in English to get out of her comfort zone, and to reflect on her life as a Black Muslim woman. Outside school, she likes reading, meeting new people, drinking bubble tea, and eating cere, her favourite Senegalese meal.