Through Vangi-tinted glasses

Perspectives from an African

socks January 31, 2016

Also from the December poetry challenge:

Socks

 

I don’t remember when I learned

the language of brown breasts

perhaps it was from peeling potatoes

at my uncle’s wedding

 

I was nine

entering a secret society

listening to Ma’Xipu whisper

that Nolwazi’s father had found a new family

in Rustenburg, while working in the mines

 

when Mam’September came back

from stirring the samp

they changed the subject

to Mam’Liwana, whose husband had died two weeks ago

apparently he had been ill for quite some time

before he came home.

she was sick too, they said

 

Nowelile, named the village drunk

was my favourite

she had twelve children with different fathers

she spoke to everyone, never behind their backs

seemed too busy to care

of the holes in other women’s socks

she washed dishes to feed her children

asked only for the additional drink

 

Nowelile was scorned by the women

who appeared to me, a barren of mules

respectable

deeply devoted to men who considered them

interchangeable

 

she was always the kind of brown breasts

I wanted to grow into

a life too full for dutiful waiting

 

when I was twenty eight, two weeks before my twenty nineth

I learned she had followed the river

 

her clothes, and socks,

were found on the bank

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crazy January 29, 2016

So in December, my dearest, Sarah Godsell, put out a poetry challenge: every day we would get a new word and have to write a poem. here is the poem I wrote for crazy

 

#fothloveofpoetry

 

crazy

 

come to me at high tide

come to me when the moon is full

and the wind is wild

come barefoot

and bruised

come honestly

to me

 

I am enough shore and rock

to love your coming and going

I do not need to know how long you will stay

or how far you will go

 

your love for the moon

does not threaten me

how you two dance and speak

a language I do not understand

does not break us

 

for now

all I need

is to know that you will come back

 

that you will find a way

through your storms and my crazy

through the fog and maybe

that you will trust me with your raging

with your wanting

 

and that when I sleep

at the bottom of your bed

if only for those moments

 

I will be yours

and you will be mine

 

 

 

 
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