Saturday, 26 November 2016

Still Born - Enoch Timpunza Mvula

She did not come just one night:
She did not come just one month.
But several nights and days and played
with her diabetic mother.
And like a feather blown
by the August whirlwind
disappeared each time
her mother wanted to embrace her.
'Where is my daughter
which the nurse showed me?
The daughter as beautiful
as gooseberry flowers
The daughter that brings
a mother's sleepless agony
Without me seeing her?
Let's go to Zomba where
she wanders like a motherless
sheep on lion infested mountains'.
I cannot bear to think
of Gertrude's grid
for our still born daughter.
I am like a dumb man
deep at night seeing
his house on fire
until it vanishes.

Enoch Timpunza Mvula (20th century) Malawi
Source: Under Zomba Plateau: The New Malawian Poetry by Angus Calder, Kunapipi, Vol 1(2), 1979.

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