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cybella maffitt

but the onions won’t grow this year

& there’s the
strange feeling
that it’s your fault,

and you cannot speak,
can no longer eat it
away from you in that

old ablution
of rice-paper noodles
spun clear as hair,

like your grandmother’s
as it presses against your cheek
and she murmurs about thất vọng,
and chán nản, and disappointment

and how you should know the ground
you planted them in is not deep
enough for young roots,

so you unthread your hair from hers
and stare at the strange lightness of it,
cannot bear, cannot help but feel that you

were not meant to grow here


today I sit on my bed belly up and let my
hands curl to the floor in small fists.
let my mother coo about how I flowered out from inside her,
a silken vine lining her edges, grown
thick to her skin, close
and wet as two fat lips.
she kisses my forehead and
murmurs about how it feels to have
something growing inside you,
the giving it takes to split
that part of yourself.
she says the first time she held me
I grasped her thumb in my hands
and would not let go,
the first time she held me she
could not believe the beauty
curled in small fists.

Cybella Maffitt is a Year 13 student at St. Cuthbert’s College.