20 May 2020

The name of my sister, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

—for Tokoloho

When I get back from dying, I find the furniture
under my dust, and the household
despairing of life the way cells imprison
the Troy Davises and grin steel still.

But when I reach Qoaling the mood has settled;
waits, at the door, my sister, Freedom, her arms
open as her name. I hear the gunshot

of approaching sound, there is backward weeping
where Lumumba lived, and died. Cement staves
stare at us, grief is together until a child
is born, ink of hope, turban white-worn

on a pyramid, a pharaoh on the lip of dawn.
Let rocks be monoliths, as wail the ancients,
until what is a compatible thing is a complete
share of freedom where two rivers meet.

Tokoloho, Kananelo, Rethabile,
Seitebatso, Tšoanyane, Khotsofalang

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