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CONTRIBUTORS

Akinlabi Peter
Amanda Sington-Williams
A M Gatward
Ayat Ghanem
Bobby Parker
Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.
Dike Okoro
E C Osondu
Katie Metcalfe
Laura Solomon
Mandy Pannett
Michael Larrain
Oge Anyahuru
Terri Ochiagha
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

 

poetry


SECOND PRIZE WINNER - SENTINEL LITERARY QUARTERLY

POETRY COMPETITION (OCTOBER 2009)

 

Pumpkin Seeds

By KATIE METCALFE

 

My sister visits just before sunset, smelling of beefsteak tomatoes,

sun cream and roasted pumpkin seeds.

She hugs me, delicately, like a new puppy. I worry about the

possibility her coco butter sun cream will leech into my pores.

 

Dad is overexcited, apparently, at the first sight of his mushrooms.

She shows me a video on her phone of the tiny white pinheads

before picking a freezer bag of pumpkin seeds from her tight jeans pocket.

I watch her thighs tremble. 

 

At home, she usually scatters seed debris over the table or floor,

but collects them in her palm this time. She can spend hours trying

to perfect the technique of splitting husks open

between her two front teeth, prising the inner seed

out of its shell with the tip of her tongue.

 

We all used to do it together, on a Saturday night in front of Gladiators.

Chuck the scraps into the fire, listen to them screech.

I feel ashamed for her coming here, adhering to the family rule

of visiting me, a tedious, painful chore.

 

She places one on the bedrest table. It sits,

its scary nutritional value watching me.

Chores done, she doesn’t kiss or hug

and leaves like a possible dream.

I wrap the seed in wads of tissue and pelt it towards the bin.

 

 

 

OCTOBER INDEX
EDITOR'S NOTE
DRAMA
ESSAYS & REVIEWS
FICTION
POETRY
COMPETITIONS


AKINLABI PETER lives and works in Ibadan, Nigeria. The poem "Moving" published here won the First Prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2009)


 


 

 

 

 

October Index | Editor's Note | Essays and Reviews | Fiction | Poetry | Competitions | Drama

Sentinel Literary Quarterly is Published by Sentinel Poetry Movement | Editor: Nnorom Azuonye

©2009 The authors and artists as credited. All rights reserved. Reprint permissions.

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