The three of you
An oak guards where
they buried you on the hill,
one leg sawed at the hip,
life on its last leg,
its witch’s hand
creeping in your box
and finding nothing;
it shrivels and dies since they,
when they took your body away,
left only your soul.
You own the hill where children play,
at peace now as you ever were;
their fucking laughter rises into a cloud like balloons
over the memory of our days,
the gods empty their grey, grey eyes on us.
Your raindrop life never ended
at touch of ground but,
in obedience to itself,
scattered a capillary crown
against wind and against rain, never minding
how it was night, that night
when they left a side of the house
unguarded, and ntate cleared a sill
to gain these hills; jarred by fire,
a constellation of stars stared through
peep holes into the blackness,
for how can one look away?
The mourning sun would soon arrive
to say across God’s face, Oh!
Then the funeral, realising that
even as we covered one with igneous dirt,
another was alive, unhurt.
I made a pact with death
to keep me from my life and I,
against rain and against wind,
named the hill for the three of you.
© Rethabile Masilo