Natalia Spencer

Ummi, Where are You?

So many in one boat
you told me to go into the water
hold on to the man with the long arms.

His boy is small like me
I share my water and biscuits with him
his name is Asif

And this cardboard box
is a car, or a boat or a donkey,
able to take us anywhere.

Asif’s dad is big and broad
his long arms pulled me out
of the sea, but not my sister.

Did she stay with you, Ummi?
When will I see you again?
Asif sleeps in his dad’s long arms

And I pretend
this brown box is my bed
and you are a mermaid.

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