Umar poem
Type
Poetry

On his portrayal of Coach Boone in Remember the Titans

‘… memories don’t work the way we want them to. when i’m lifting my daughter to the clouds, facing the football coiling towards my nose, catching my reflection in a pane of glass – greeting all twelve of my bodies – i’m in several places at once. when they ask us to leave it all in the past i imagine empty cartons with tallied grievances hanging off our backs. grief swims in circles, catching in any bit of body that bares flesh. in every moment we live the afterlife, in every moment we die, smiling. you seeing me as your father is a lie, but i understand it. chewing his gum in a way that offends, reciting I Have a Dream over eggs – eyes fixed to a point made up in his head – his self talk is not mine. but once, it narrated my nightmares in which men just like me prostrated before God and died anyways.’

 

 

OL227 cover

Read the rest of Overland 227

If you enjoyed this poem, buy the issue

Or subscribe and receive
four outstanding issues for a year

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Saaro Umar is an Oromo poet. Her work has appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Expound and Scum Mag, among others.

More by