POEM | My country

In the late 1970s, Lindiwe Mabuza, a.k.a. Sono Molefe, sent out a call for poems written by women in ANC camps and offices throughout Africa and the world. The book that resulted, published and distributed in Europe in the early 1980s, was banned by the apartheid regime. Half-forgotten, it has never appeared in a South African edition – until now. (Photo: Supplied)
In the late 1970s, Lindiwe Mabuza, a.k.a. Sono Molefe, sent out a call for poems written by women in ANC camps and offices throughout Africa and the world. The book that resulted, published and distributed in Europe in the early 1980s, was banned by the apartheid regime. Half-forgotten, it has never appeared in a South African edition – until now. (Photo: Supplied)

I stand by the gate

School’s out Smoke fills the location

Tears come to my eyes

I wipe them away

I walk into the kitchen

To see my mother’s

Black hard-washing hands

A forceful smile from

A tired face

We sit and have supper

I pick up a picture of My father and look

My mother turns away

Tries to hide

My father left my mother

In his arms

He is roughly separated

From her

The van pulls away

Mother watches bravely enough

I as a child do

Not understand

My heart aches

How I long to see my father

At least to hold his hand

And comfort him

Or at least to tell him

He’ll be back some day. 

This poem appears in the anthology Malibongwe: Poems from the struggle by ANC women, which after being banned in South Africa, occupies its rightful intellectual and creative space for the first time in four decades.

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