Grandma Prays for Us by Vasiki Konneh

The tasabih wrapped around my grandmother’s fingers. Her lips spilled prayers, and they fell upwards. Our words are weighed down on this world and its people unless they are spoken to God— then they are weightless, and are pulled upwards as if God has tied a noose around our tongues in order to incite prayers that may or may not go answered

When we were young,
we asked our grandmother
to tell us of
her childhood. The
misbaha [prayer-
beads] wrapped
around her fingers
and she asked us
if we understood
what it meant to
remain a child
and be stripped
of your childhood.
And she asked us
if we understood
what it meant to
carry youthful innocence
and grave stress
in one body. To have
it pulling down at
the tail of your spine.
When we said no,
she smiled. She held
up her fingers with
the misbaha and
told us that that
is because she prayed
for us five times a day.


My name is Vasiki Konneh and I am a first-year at Colby College who is originally from Queens, NY. My intended major is Physics. I have been previously published in Colby College’s literary magazine, Inklings and The Pequod. This is a simultaneous submission.