Sunday, 26 July 2020

After lunch on Sundays, by Rethabile Masilo

Later in life when my father was sick
and coughing blood,
we tied a hammock outside
between two willows, heaved him up,
and left him there like a foetus
with an old transistor tuned to the BBC
for a pillow, and dreams of politics.
Each day after lunch we sent him
to before his birth, plugged
into his mother's wall, which
he loved, he loved everything then,
being young again, and our reward
for placing him in that womb
was the way he studied us
from the window of his room
when he thought we weren't looking,
his eyes soft and glazed,
a hand sweeping for someone's to hold
under the sheet. My father was Button
before his time, from a stern,
angry father we hadn't outgrown yet,
to this boy we shall now not forget.

Ntate Benjamin Masilo

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