Remote control

Oupa has rigid skin.
His softness, long since disappeared.
His shadow reeks of balms,
lotions, oil, scented soaps, cod-liver.
Shapes become tinged and bitter…

Tiny notions,
multiplied to become devouring oceans,
of salt-water tears and fresh-water fears.
He called up to heaven,
he settled into a peculiar divide.
Bitter beings choking on beautiful pride…

Broken knowledge passed into the children’s brains,
all while pointing his crooked finger towards the way.
He manufactured them,
then left them in his wake.
So they grew up and repeated every mistake…
Pride was so easy to swallow,
easier than the essence of life.
His old tongue turned black;
His black heart turned back;
His chest cavity resisted every attack.

His gift…

Oupa sits on the barren stoep.
He is alone now.
The children never forgave,
they never visited the grave.
He remembers it all,
in his own peculiar way.

The passage of time diluted by miscarriages,

He controlled all of them,
his whole life long.
But now,
surrounded by this strange place,
he sits where nothing is possible anymore.


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