Farming, Tending by Bineh Ndefru

My grandmother wore the world
Like she wore the same printed cloth around her waist
Year after year.

She carried it, ripe and sweet smelling
Heavy, but steady upon her crown.

She carried, both arms shaking
But not to spill a drop of its waters.

She tied it sleeping on her back.
And again. Every time it cried out.
She sang and danced, beaming as she lifted it to the sky.

Every day
The world said she was not worthy of the air she breathed.
She was carrying the world the day that it crushed her.

She carried what she hoped would keep her.
She carried the world before it knew to say “thank you”
Before it knew to say “I’m sorry”.




Bineh Ndefru is a 23 year old from Bamenda, Cameroon, currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a scientist and a writer because she can’t decide what the world needs more of.

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