Leaking Hearts

A few years down the grim lane of history... The forlorn land, raised from the ashes; the phoenix of the black motherland,

A few years down the grim lane of history...

The forlorn land, raised from the ashes; the phoenix of the black motherland,

Smooth winding roads, sparkling for the world to gawk at,

Lives seemingly fallen into place; they could have been chess pieces,

Behind closed doors, memories stand tall, drilling holes in the hearts of generations.

I call it the era of ‘leaking hearts’. 

‘Daphrose’, being my rightful name, a sarcastic pun by the ancestors,

I fail to scrounge anything to rhyme with rosy or flowery left in me, 

Identifying myself only as a mother; I’m a vessel that bore two gifts to this world. 

One of which I was robbed of, too soon. A sorrow I share with a large statistic of women.

Every sound and sight of that dreadful day boldly tattooed to my being,

I am a witness of the theft of my child’s life.

Ebony black skin glistening under the orange sun, I watch all I’m left with,

Foot in mouth, she sucks her toes, oblivious to the history that looms above us,

She carefully plays with the black ants crawling over her,

Squealing with glee as they tingle her skin,

Her small teeth gleaming in the splashes of light; they are my pride.

I choose not to compare or contrast. She is her own soul.

In the mornings, she builds mud castles,

Her chubby fingers painting her face; she could be a warrior or a princess,

We play; rolling together on the ground,

Hearing the grass crush under our backs; we are one person,

Molding me to better; forcibly loosening my bondage chains,

Silencing the rebel in me; waking the mother in me once again.

But as the shadows of the dusk gather, I feel it build,

I slowly detach from the rays of heaven she seems to spread,

For I see him. My other love.

I could swear I feel him touch his soft hands to my face and kiss my nose,

I feel the weight of the guilt. ‘Why him and not me?’

The grief awakened; I am held in its unforgiving clasp.

She touches her hands to my face; just like he used to,

This wrings out my pain; the anguished sobs taunting me,

I hold on tight to her, refusing to imagine he were still in my arms,

Choking on my tears, I grieve for myself.

Mourning the lifetime I will never know.

My princess sits silently; my tears dripping down her neck.

Years flew by; memories of the massacres remaining so vivid,

I tiptoed around life; floating in an island of denial,

Fantasizing on all kinds of impossibilities, I awoke to all kinds of night sweats

Whispering ‘I love you’ to the dark walls; I doubted my sanity.

I imagined him run unsteadily once again, his shadow seemingly giggling at the sight,

But the years came and went.

It’s the morning again and there she is; sucking her toes with a smile in her eyes.

In her I see the future; a clean slate, a new beginning,

I’m learning how to love again; letting it blossom even in my dreams,

For I pretend to hear him whisper to me, to live for him

My baby; arms around my neck, urges me to smile again.


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