Tuesday Poem

Letter to Mary

I tried to get to see your grandchildren. I phoned the only
shop at Sepanaphudi. A manual operator put me through.
I asked him if he knew the Theleles. Yes, he said, they’re
all here, who do you want to speak to?

I phoned the next day, spoke to one of them. Didn’t get
his name but he knew mine. Mr Robert? – Come and see
us quickly. Bring clothes, girls’ clothes, and food. We are
all without job. Can you come tomorrow? Put off by his
desperation, I didn’t go.

I’ll still come one of these days and visit your grave. Long
ago you carried me from the noise into the sunlight. How
much I’ve tried to pay my debt to you. Only to find that
debts of guilt are endless. And debts of love? There are
no debts of love.

by Robert Berold

from All the Days
publisher: Deep South, Grahamstown, 2008