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  • This is Anna.

    Anna Elizabeth.

    She was my biological mother. The one who screamed our names by the gate and we heard and ran from the park in the next street.

    She was the one who sat us down and made sure we ate the ocra, and pumpkin. She mixed the food with her fingers and forced it in with her thumb.

    There was no escape.

    She was the one who knew this is what will make me always look ten years younger than I really am.

    She was the one who patiently saturated my hair with a mixture of olive oil and rosemary, braided it tightly and combed all the lice out the next morning.

    She was the one who never fixed the glass door when I kicked it in, fighting with my brother. She spent the money instead on French lessons, ballet, point shoes from Freed's, gymnastics, swimming, additional maths, additional physics, further dance, travelling.

    She was the one who brought us in line with the occasional wooden spoon and made us accountable.

    She was the one, whose matted hair I brushed as she writhed on a hospital bed. Her insides riddled and cursed with sickle cell.

    She was always there.

    In the hospital.

    It never stopped her.

    She was always in pain; but it never stopped her.

    Sunday was Mothers' Day in the UK.

    Today is Tuesday. She had me on a Tuesday.
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