12 July 2018

Sorrow, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

You should never put words
in sorrow's mouth but must acknowledge
the ones already there,
when it tells a street the secret
of how far home is, the only certainty
being fear, whose name and blood type
are a part of life. Like when
a cripple drags itself from a crowd,
whispering sentences of broken limbs.
Sorrow knows that. It has travelled the road
to Emmaus; it’s in a dinghy
drowning at the bottom of a sea,
the Aegean, the Mediterranean;
it has sailed into the devil’s face
and looked back, unwilling to return.
And it knows words for the feel of a heart
in the mouth, when you have
nowhere to go and have to still yourself
against the words and worlds
of others, the sorrow of midnight
when a hospital bulb is your only light.


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