Scissors in Hand

by Jahara A. Solaiman


Before I cut the thread,
Know that I tried, after all that’s been said.
That it took all of me
To give up and set you free.
I hope you find what’s meant to be yours.
That you find lasting joy washed up on your shores.
I hope you will keep better
What you could not get from me
But got from another.
I hope I can still be able,
To watch you eat from Life’s bounty,
But not anymore at my table.
All the best.




At the Checkout

by Jahara A. Solaiman


The worn-out cashier
Peered over the slinky line.
Shoppers, baskets, carts
Groaning with today’s largesse
Freezer bags of apathy and indifference,
Bunches of misfortune,
Cases of vanity,
Boxes of strife.
A packet of hope right here and there.
Perhaps a small jar of love
That had been overlooked.
No sachets of common sense to be seen.
As usual, canisters of pure joy
Always out of stock.
A soul’s nourishment and poison.
Shoppers paid with their lives, many dearly, some frugally.
The cashier tiredly took these from pained hands,
Packs the goods firmly into fragile paper bags.
A receipt of hedonism is stapled.
One by one, the souls file out homeward,
From Life’s Supermarket
Till the next shopping trip.
Thank you, come again.



Jahara A. Solaiman Jahara A. Solaiman is an instructor at the English Department of Mindanao State University-Marawi City, where she teaches English, literature, and art appreciation. Her earlier works have appeared in other literary anthologies, the most recent being Lawanen II (Gantala Press) and Ani 40: Katutubo (Cultural Center of the Philippines). In addition to creative writing, she loves imparting her love of art (she works with colored pencils, watercolors, and acrylic) to her students.