11 September 2015


Memory lifts its veil, everybody calls you,
but no appearance. Once again I recall
walking nights with you, touching walls
toward a light of home’s distance
lit for those still outside, till that night
became another day. I remember ten
childhood commandments, how absent
loves had to be watered and fed with half
the force of touch, something with a tongue,
and half with a winter of wilderness.
Today still the quiet night brings images
of walking toward that hill of home,
using darkness as a guide there. Then
one morning you were gone, on one day
that took you away, your stature, the slight
form of your build—for all that was you—
none of us knew what was coming despite
what you embody today. What we had not
realised was that there was no ram tied
to Abraham’s shrub. Thou shalt not awake
after dying, thou shalt be willing to refuse
refuge in the arms of their Lord. You left
Lesotho the year of your eighteen years
and we closed like clams. Grass grew a beard
on you, and “thou shalt stand up and fight”
sings in the air. These are not on any tablet
but on the skin of your heart. Because thou
shalt not hate nor rape thy neighbour, and
thou shalt aid people, thou shalt worship
other Gods beside me. These many years
later you remain needed. Because thou
shalt never leave loved ones in the lurch.

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