In time we come to claim our magic —
My grandmother: a jasmine tree and spruce of fig,
The fig tree was a sort of magic and the jasmine something else,
My mother’s sort of magic cut canine and urgent,
She harvested solar flare membranes
My mother knew what we were before we were dreams.
In waterlogged Januaries and coal-fire Februaries
Where discarded umbrellas jut, stabbed into soil
My magic trails from a black cab’s exhaust,
Here, now, I can’t press words around it. The ways
One day soon, I think,
When she’s not scheming to rule the world with an army of modified metro-station mice, Sara dabbles in software in London and — embarrassingly — aches too much in the heart when confronted with rock anthems or perfect sentences. Her poems have appeared in Apex Magazine, Goblin Fruit, and Stone Telling, and her fiction in Fantasy Magazine and Electric Velocipede. She says:
I wrote this poem at a nearly geological pace, thinking, the whole while, of my maternal line. My day-to-day life in leafy, rainy North London is at a complete remove from what my mother’s daily experience would have been like at my age as an emigrant with two young children. Jump back to the life my grandmother led in a mountain suburb of Beirut during the civil war, and the differences are just extraordinary. But ‘Inheritance..’ is about the common voltage that powers our magic, as different as our lives might be. The poem is also about the complete weirdness of being an adult — the fact that you can walk like a grown-up, and quack like a grown-up, and get stressed and tired and burnt out like a grown-up, but still feel like a kid in your head.