26 November 2014

The horses

Those people did come in bakkies, four
perhaps, out of the west. When one of the men
came over, and touched our manes
with his hand, our mother rippled.
We had been taught to never neigh.
When one fine day a neighbour beat us
for eating his best beets and lettuces,
even then we only bit our lips and let air
ruffle our hair in his face while he struck.
But these men here spoke a language
we didn’t know. Father stood on his hind legs
and bared his teeth at them. And even
at that dark hour, with the stars watching,
mother walked over to our youngest, swished
flies off his face with her tail, then spun around
to face those men once again. No one neighed.
Not even when the shooting began.

--"Waslap", The Onslaught Press, 2015

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