Green pincushion proteas grow in my memory, swaying faintly in today’s wind. Memory snags me through the pink pincushions I bought this morning from the auntie in the doek by the Kwikspar who added a king protea to the bunch, all spikes and pins in reds and maroons, so regal that as a child I didn’t know they
Gabeba Baderoon’s most recent poetry collection is The History of Intimacy (Kwela Books, 2018). Her previous collections include The Dream in the Next Body (Kwela Books, 2005), A hundred silences (Kwela Books, 2006), and The Museum of Ordinary Life (DaimlerChrysler, 2005) and the monograph Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-Apartheid. Her honors include the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship. Baderoon is the co-director of the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State University, where she is an associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and African studies. She lives in State College, Pennsylvania.