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Line of San, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

The line of San disappearing at a considerable rate
from the continental root. This
shall be humanity's great disappointment,
to envenom us with the fervour of no forever,
with a fear of foreign tongues
as if ours was the town of Babel,
while the man who speaks to you on the street after work
as you're walking the dog is in need
of something you own: kindness, the way
your eye sparkles when you give it earnestly,
even after massacres that have ousted time.
Everybody needs something from someone;
the dog that wets a pole and goes off on a trot,
sniffing the path for some sign of a pheromone.

A sun that hangs as the San fade,
not wanting to give leaves food, or fruit colour
through the pathway of pith, refusing to sparkle.
We bleed on the horizon like a head whose neck
snaps. We remember that vision of boats
growing from that same horizon
with the laundry of white sails flapping in the wind.
And then uShaka, Moshoeshoe, Sekhukhuni,
when it was already too late,
and no one who needs someone
could count on a foreign tongue or its meaning
to shore up the defences of common success.
We always knew this was the road to hell,

and splashed our meaning on the walls
of caves. We always knew
that we were the ones to assess the bulk
between giving our all or getting less.
Like the one who walks into a roomful
of dull eyes in his own house
but offers tea, biscuits, and a conversation
to find out how the situation can be defused.
The phenomenon of when a shoe doesn’t fit,
but you must put it on to get to work.






This post first appeared on Poéfrika, please read the originial post: here

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Line of San, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

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