You sliced the mealy apples from Aldi
into eight pieces, five days a week.
I didn’t like the taste, but I liked the shape.
You braided my hair, pulled hard
on my thick strands so they’d stay in place,
my scalp was burning with your worries.
The girls in school had croissants, cookies,
pitted cherries fitting the tips of their tongues,
their silky hair shining like a silver coin.
I wanted the plastic-packed toasties,
but you bought rye bread, ten cents per sole,
you put your foot down.
Just once, please buy me Nutella instead of Nussetti,
You wouldn’t believe I’d taste the difference,
your hazel eyes a shade lighter
when I passed the blind test five times at my aunt’s.
One more time, you laughed, incredulous.
But still, you’d spread Nussetti on those soles,
counting your copper coins on the kitchen table
as my tongue grew sour to you, only my strict
plait dragging me down from my high horse.
Christina Hennemann is a poet and prose writer based in Ireland. She’s a recipient of the Irish Arts Council’s Agility Award ’23 and she was longlisted in the National Poetry Competition. Her work is forthcoming or appears in Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, The Iowa Review, Skylight 47, The Moth, York Literary Review, The Storms, Impossible Archetype, Ink Sweat & Tears, Moria, and elsewhere. Her debut pamphlet “Illuminations at Nightfall” appeared with Sunday Mornings at the River (2022). christinahennemann.com