Poet and University of the Western Cape (UWC) academic Antjie Krog delivered a powerful poem at the memorial service of slain theology student Jesse Hess (19) on Wednesday.
The bodies of Hess and her 85-year-old grandfather, Chris, were found in their flat in Parow last Friday.
Hess's murder was one of the crimes against women that brought South Africa to a standstill this week, under the banner #AmINext.
so here we are today to claim ourselves to claim our bodies
claim them back from knifes from jackhammers
from axes, from guns, from bullets
and to rage to rage against muteness
against stupidity against the corrupt thoughts of men
we rage against their cries, against their yells
against their misplaced desires for power
we rage against what they think a man is
against their inward festering of destruction
we rage against their coming for us
the moment that we raise the brave stalk of our necks
we want it to be us who claim ourselves
we want it to be us
who feel between our ribs
the tremor of how things can be different
of how something can become true of what we are
why do they keep on then being so wrong?
the earth lays her cheek next to ours
she breathes and breathes into us
to unconditionally care hush hush
we who march should have been able to say:
we stand on a moerse rock in the sea at Paternoster
where the sea beats strips of light green foam
into the air
fearless we can stare down every bloody damn wave
in the gut as it breaks
the rock quakes under our soles
our upper leg muscles bulge
our pelvis casts out its acquired resigned tilt
we should have been able to say: like hell!
we are rock we are stone we are dune
distinct our tits can hiss a copper kettle sound
our hands can clasp Moordbaai and Bekbaai
our arms can tear ecstatically past our heads:
we should be
we should be
god hears us
free fucking women