2020 By Anna D Sene


Sisters and brothers. I had missed the
Explosion of tastes that comes with a cere, and
The comfort of food eaten around the same bowl.

I rushed to printers and full metros between Porte Brancion and Concorde,
Feeling the weight of my black hijab flowing on my young shoulders
And the pressure of my blackness in the white crowds.
As never before.

Saint Paul.
A life of adventures in higher academia.
Movie nights with salty abundant popcorn followed
Study days roaring with nervousness in complex papers and numbers.
The freedom to stretch my feet on the granite grows smaller
Each day that goes by. Masks on. More indoor nights and introspections.


I can still hear the laughter of the reunions
Smell the perfume of our friendly hugs
Taste the smooth melody of warm meals we
Shared on a rainy day in January 2020.

I recall the hikes between the dense green Norwegian
trees , the salty sweat lingering on my
Smiling face, stunned before the birds spreading its
Wings over the soothing Fjord.

Friends. Chiquitas, we called each other.
Dancing in the kitchen while cooking jollof rice,
Taking pictures in our clothes smelling like a mix of garlic and pepper,
Our faces, breathing sisterhood.

A year passed, but still one more had to come.
Studying together from the early afternoon till
the cooling Fjord mirrored the moon
We cheered each other up, when grades made our moods dull.

Little did we know that the final year would be cut short.
What about the dresses we needed to try before graduation day?
What about jumping in the fjord after writing the last exam?
What about the last dinner in the Flekke bubble?

We rushed to pack, muttered sobbing goodbyes, unexpected
In one last breathtaking effort, we smiled at the
diplomas , and watched each other fly for what
Could be the last time.

The freedom to stretch my feet on the granite grows smaller
Each day that goes by. Masks on. More indoor nights and introspections.

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.

One thought on “2020 By Anna D Sene

  1. From the government and rulling class
    To the citizens and the ruled,
    People in houses furnished with glass
    Fair skinned and even the tattooed
    People truly from all walks of life:
    The pandemic has spiralled a strife.

    The strong couldn’t shelter in their strength,
    The weak are already vulnerable
    Neither do the rich find protection from wealth
    Even the Eagles to fly are incapable
    And all the bruts and loots
    Are equalled in this dirty suits

    This piece is a clarion call
    To both the rich and the poor
    Whatever level in life’s score
    History isn’t about rich or poor
    Strive yes, fight if you must
    To leave footprint that won’t rust

    The world is nothing without kind arts
    For the best notes are on human hearts!

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