All the Sisters I Never Had

By Katrina Naomi

after Mona Arshi

Aside from me and my sister there were three more all

girls I half-remember the arrival of one of those would-

have-been sisters half-remember the blood trying its damnedest to keep her safe as it flooded Mum’s skirt a

dark patch becoming the dominant colour as Mum

toppled across the bed Almost a noise to that blood

certainly a smell-rush of metal Mum gasped to phone I

knew 999 Christ knows where my father was I dialled

trying not to stare at Mum’s sudden lack of elegance

my index finger almost performing a complete circle

three times My finger ran back in urgency faster

than my hand was prepared for Mum half-lying on the bed

half-kneeling on the floor as if in prayer the blood

clumped on the carpet I tried not to look at her skirt

as Natasha or Rebecca or Alice fell In films

the carpet is rolled up taken away

KATRINA NAOMI is a poet, tutor, mentor, translator and critic from Cornwall. Her third collection, Wild Persistence, was published earlier this year.

Art by Ellena Murray

Somerville College
Woodstock Road, Oxford,
The ORB is published with permission of LM Publishing Ltd, Palladium House, 1-4 Argyll St, London W1F 7LD.
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