24 August 2015

Dinner in the garden

We preferred to have dinner in the garden,
On a wicker table and chairs in the orchard
Under the trees, to smile when saying, ‘pass
The salt, please,’ looking at a disparate sun,
Like father in prison. My brother sat at the head,
Called the menu. The only thing we had to bring
Was furniture and salt. My brother didn’t know
That while mom put him at the head she was also
Telling him how to sit, how to pick the salt up
And how much to sprinkle it. When father got out
We were sick of raw fruit and vegetables. No one
Could look at a beet anymore. We were tired
Of the smell of beef from neighbours’ kitchens.
Every morning, even as we scrubbed ourselves
With Lifebuoy we looked at them scrubbing
Oily pots and pans, before we oiled ourselves
With aloe vaseline and made ready for school.

2 comments:

Helen Lowe said...

This is such an interesting poem, Rethabile, I was drawn into the sensory 'picture' it paints and then the story behind the picture--so much left unsaid.

Rethabile said...

Helen,
Thank you so much for your comment. The stuff to make one keep trying again and again.