Arfah Daud

Dried Fruits

In the cupboard, in a box, Mother saved
her children’s umbilical cords in hand-stitched white muslin.
She’d sometimes take the dried cords out and wave
them at us. “If you quarrel with each other, I’ll steep
these things and make you drink from it,” she threatened.
She knows which dry thing belongs to whom,
naming each one the way you’d count 1-2-3
or recite your A-B-C’s in the classroom.

Mother died years ago. She’d never seen my house,
the fig tree full of ripe fruit in the back yard,
or how ruined her children are. The two youngest rouse
each other, the rest take sides. Birds peck
the sweet figs, inviting Emerald June Beetles to attack.
The ground, littered with dry damaged fruits.

Author Portrait

Arfah Daud was born and raised in Malaysia. She received her MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Daud studied with Eloise Klein Healy, Richard Garcia and Chris Abani. Her poems have appeared in Byzantium, Susan B and Me, The Mom Egg, Spillway, Sin Fronteras, Solo Novo, New Plains Review, Apple Valley Review, Verse in The Valley and SageHill Press AWCH.  Daud currently resides in Santa Cruz, California, where she teaches high school.