31 March 2018

Raising things, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

As evening settles its dark wing on us
we lie inside another night till even that night
has nothing to say to us, till the crickets
are quiet outside and bats are out, piercing night
with their radar. Till there is no sound
other than that of hooves as the devil
goes by, on an evening stroll with his family.
This happens night after night in these suburbs
where evil likes to walk. I live in Qoaling. It is
my home. One night the devil and his family
didn't clop by as usual, but smashed our door down
and trotted in, pierced Motlatsi’s lung with a horn,
ransacked the whole house looking for Ben,
and finally left without him. In the morning
the smell of sulphur still hung everywhere in the air,
inside the rooms. Anybody can raise hell,
where's the one who can also raise the dead?

—from "Waslap", The Onslaught Press, 2015

Motlatsi and his grandmother,
our mother Tebello

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