Am I Really

We chanted our ABC’s

In the safety of our coloured room.

Consonant and vowel replays,

tongue twists against our normal vernac.

Monday to Friday,

The school was my cradle.

my safe harbour from the crashing waves ebbed at home.

An enmity relationship,

That reduces my eyes to tears in an unknown fear.

In a family of three,

My years trail behind that of my parents.

A soft-spoken father whose hands have trained to wipe tears from my eyes.

A razor-sharp mother who takes delight in using me as an example of a canvas board. 

Two parents who rub my heart in different ways.

My father toward loves highway,

My mother, toward hates valley.

If only being a soldier granted him  permanent residency at home.

But no,

Monthly trips steal him away,

Now more than ever.

Corona the great call to call him out.

A temporary post of his,

To station at the roadblock beside the border gate.

Not only that, 

The school closed its gates as well. 

The bleak reality of my today rings fear in my mind.

Locked away with my mother for two months,

Will I ever live to tell the tale of tomorrow?

Or will this canvas of my mother finally tear under the forceful brush strokes in the heat of anger?

A daily thought that keeps me huddled beside the kitchen door,

With the kettle whistling for the next meal.

My tears are known best by God.

The million-dollar question always on repeat,

Am I really my mother’s daughter?


Written by Ntlame

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