The Crossing book cover
Created: 10th May, 2022

from '336 days before'

Talking to Mama is

Like getting blood from a stone.


She’s silent,

staring at her food,

moving it around her plate.


We sit at the table,

in a room that once vibrated with music,

where Sophia and I would secretly watch

Baba and Mama dancing after dinner,

long after they’d put us to bed.


I smile at the memory.

Mama looks at me.

What? she asks.


I was just thinking of you and

Baba and how Sophia and I loved watching you dance.

You thought we were asleep,

but we’d hide behind the sofa and watch.


She smiles.

Oh, we knew.


You must be brave


© Manjeet Mann from The Crossing, Penguin Random House


Manjeet Mann - Extract from 336 days before