Tuesday Poem

They Are Coming

Gogo watches timorous
through a rent in her curtain
as the kids boil down the street.

Minutes ago
a terrified woman ran past
bleeding, dress torn,

In an instant the streets were empty
of even the wind
only the yelling
cadres of national sovereignty
wielding dread in upraised little fists
like that man they admire
on the front
of their T-shirts

Gogo fears for her only son
she told him not to go –
but leaving
he told her “the country will never be a colony again”

He is leading the toyi toyi towards her home
sweating faces set
feet pumping
stones and sticks raised
teeth bared
with intention.

by Chris Mlalazi
publisher PIW, 2008