Vanessa Herman – Beautiful ordinary

 Beautiful ordinary clock
that holds my face,
whose numbers are lines on my face.
whose incessant tick tock is the hormonal
metronome of my biology.

My womb filled with you o’clock.
No embroidery, no frills, bells or whistles
just your stern conservative,
roman numeralled face.

Beautiful ordinary clock
I live in your shadow which is shaped
like a question mark.

My womb filled with you o’clock.
I am quarter to middle aged
and half past fruitfulness.

Beautiful ordinary clock.

Vanessa Herman

Swim Mother, swim!

I looked at her, no, not at her but into her. Blue sad ambivalent eyes stared back. “I must separate from you,” I had just said. A wall of water, a giant oceanic wave rose up in her, threatening to drown us. The neat frilly coffee shop could barely hold all this ‘tearing’. Pushing her terror aside, I stated my reasons. Puffing my chest out like a lioness. “Let me Go!” I almost shouted as I pictured the enormous tsunami of her fear washing us down Kloof Street into the harbour where she would drown because she still could not swim at age sixty-eight.