Yalie Saweda Kamara

During lunch, Ms. Anne says

Lake Merritt picnic tables, Oakland, Ca.

have 3, but make sure to space them all apart carefully

by the time your lastborn is somersaulting in your stomach like a medium 

load of laundry, your first should already be 4, while your middle child should be 3. 

That way, they’ll be used to holding each other’s hands and yours. No squatting or 

lifting for you. You’ll hold hands everywhere. When you cross the street. On your way to 

the hospital for check-ups. And to the delivery room. If he’s there, good. If he’s not, 

that’s good, too. Because by then, you will already have months of practice in 

the art of clutching and carrying valuables while walking away together.

​​Yalie Saweda Kamara is a Sierra Leonean-American writer, educator, and researcher from Oakland, California. Selected as the 2022-2023 Cincinnati and Mercantile Library Poet Laureate (2-year term), Kamara is the author of A Brief Biography of My Name (African Poetry Book Fund/Alashic Books, 2018) and When the Living Sing (Ledge Mule Press, 2017) and the editor of the anthology What You Need to Know About Me: Young Writers on Their Experience of Immigration (The Hawkins Project, 2022). She earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Cincinnati. For more: www.yaylala.com