From November To August

In the Sunshine City, on a wintry afternoon,
bullets swam through flesh in streets once celebrated upon.
Puddles of blood gathered for bullet shells to soft-land in after puncturing
the life out of a mother, a father, a son, an uncle, a sister and daughter.
I imagine children, spouses and parents clawing the concrete floors of their hollow homes
looking for answers to the images of their loved ones slain being passed on and on in WhatsApp messages and groups like a bad virus.
When an election is free and fair, what does that look like exactly?
Do lifeless bodies litter the streets in lieu of the usual torture and rape of citizens to garner a vote?

When imbecilic men can’t agree on who has the bigger dick and balls to run a country,
they use our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and uncles as replaceable pawns on their vast chessboard.
All they left were puddles of blood to be washed away by tears of a nation constantly in the grip of greed and hatred for true freedom.
We have never been free.
We have accepted a mirage in the distance and conjured it up in our spirits to be a pond with beautiful quenching waters.

November taught us to smile, sing and dance at the toxic men who would mow us down with guns in August. And we have selfies to prove it.

(For Sylvia Maphosa and the four unnamed people slain in the violence of the Zimbabwean Presidential Elections 2018)

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Text by Frank Malaba © 2018
Image by Zinyange Auntony

Published by: Frank Malaba

Frank Malaba is an actor, playwright and a published poet. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He has performed on stage and television in both countries. He has a passion for using poetry, storytelling and theatre as a method of healing for both himself and others. His poetry has been presented both at home and abroad. Frank is currently developing a two-man play entitled “Broken Pathways” which will be touring internationally. In 2014 Frank was recognised by Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans as an Achiever in the category of Arts & Culture.

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