Taking a picture

My grandmother’s hands are a mosaic.

They’ve brought mango trees and gourds from Pakistan, planted them in the creases on her fingers. The patchwork of sun-spots hide on the back of her hand, camouflaging with her mother’s olive skin. Her veins have swelled as they fuse her farms in Mirpur with her detached houses in Lancashire. She likes to watch my father’s bare nails to remember what her own look like, then she lets go and gazes towards them; they are, and have always been, coloured with the red henna she commands. It’s the smell, she says. It reminds me of home.

My grandmother rests her hand on mine, so I take a picture.

Sameeya Maqbool


Sameeya Maqbool is a British South Asian literary scholar, short story writer and poetess. She is currently finishing a combined MA in Creative Writing with English Literary Studies at Lancaster University. Her main areas of interest are works that play with genre boundaries, creative-critical writing, contemporary fiction and hybrid poetry. She has published a poem titled ‘Bucket List’ in Flash Journal as well as a poem titled ‘hashtag clean the air’ in the anthology Assembled Selves.

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