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Yanjanani L. Banda | Memory and Redemption


There’s a picture of you and me hanging on
the wall. We wear infectious smiles, our hearts
breaking inside. We have never been the kind
for tearful goodbyes, so you smile, as do I,
your hand in mine, painting memories too
beautiful for time.

We will remember what the air smelt like
that day – August winds parting for heat; the
smell of chicken and fries wafting from the table
behind; how we wished for divine hands to
erase the distance as we held each other close, the
sounds of life passing us by. For we were not
the mourning, only two hearts driven to a
temporary goodbye. Tears would have seemed
an omen for bad things.

We will remember how our hearts broke
with the untangling distance
as we braved the silence. One to home,
another to symphonies unknown to sleep.
We were the color of youthful dreams, before we knew
how to hold our hearts close to our chests.
When we woke, they had turned to black and gray, ambers of
smoke where once a fire had burnt.

There’s a picture that hangs on the wall, of you
and me suspended in time, nailed to a cross we
could not bear. It waits there, solid and square,
until home finds its way back to what we
should have been.



Ours are bruised lips with tongues weighted in histories
mothers and daughters buttering silence on open hearths
We wail butterfly tears, bosoms seeping in mysteries
Strangers in loose skin, kin to darkness and miseries

We are unsung legacies of bodies torn and worn
Whispers sown in shadows of candlelight’s call
We birth melodies from pasts broken, untold
Weave sacred tales clothed in colors of the rising morn

We will nurture strangled cries in palms thirsty for hope
Speak beauty into these unraveling bones
Till our hearts, soaring and restored
Will find home in the tongues of many a woman –

Poetry: Yanjanani L. Banda
Image: Cdd20 Pixabay modded

Yanjanani L. Banda
Yanjanani L. Banda
Yanjanani L. Banda is a writer from Malawi. Her work has appeared in the Bristol Short Story Prize 15th Anthology, Quilled Ink Review, Brittle Paper, Afritondo Magazine, Kalahari Review, and Spillwords.

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