3 June 2018

Winter, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

Surely our walk will soon be
a thing of past dreams,
given that since you left
there have been no options,
brother, for body or for mind;
and this park where you lie
holds no promise of release.
We sit listening to wind
whip the leaves of this oak
that grows on your grave.
To weed the mound, dig out
and chuck away dandelions,
tufts of tussock still stuck
to our memory, to hoe, rake
the surface with our hands
and water it with salt
is to accept the solitude
of your room. On a clear day
in winter one can see the tree
far off, gnarled in abscission,
reaching to grab heaven
by its lapels. Seasons come.
Wrapped in bark against
the chill, the tree homes birds
in its branches. Meanwhile,
throughout summer, its roots
drink the life of your blood
that clings to leaves that float
earthward on scarlet wings,
till once more winter brings
its black, black night of ice.



Photo by Sabine Dundure

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