Terminal Index

So far, what I have  

is you, Dad, migrating  

from sitting room, bottom right-hand 

side of the house, two floors skywards 

to the loft, then back earthbound 

to catch signal  



        onouhi, onouhi? 

               can you hear me? 


And though my sides split and 

leak laughs onto the internet 

at this telecom farce, I will know 

what that phrase means 

for what’s left of my life. 


And then you, Mum, downstairs 

with a more local transmission, 

phone warm at your cheeks’ 

clan marks, now transmitters 



          ohh wohyémi 

               I am well. 

                    God is good  


or you, Mum, with me  

on the floor of the kitchen, 

my kneecap a bar of soap ablaze, 

my mouth a chimney of howl,  

and your  


          kpo… kpo… 


conjured to end pain 

unspill milk, or unspool thread 

tied too tautly around a bale  

of braided hair. 


So far, my menagerie of terms  

is small fragment, speck, found object 

sound, word and phonic 

but I keep it.  


Collect, collect, collate 

and conceal it – under head and pillow 

just as Grandma caches money 

in case she ever needs it. 

In case it one day grows. 


from Girl B, New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Akashik Books, 2017), © Victoria Adukwei Bulley 2017, used by permission of the author.

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.

Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a British-born Ghanaian poet, writer, and filmmaker who was shortlisted for the Brunel University African ...