Image by ananthu kumar from Pixabay


A dirge for the space left behind
When you fell down into your grave
Dust spoken of as returning to dust
Like a house you always knew you would go home to
Like your time here was merely a visit and nothing else
Like there was something urgent to get to
Milk boiling on the kettle I guess

You did not carry with you anything
Your song still wafts around like smoke-unsung
I catch a whiff of it and think you have returned
Inhale through the mouth and hold it in
In this dirge I am also the mouth
Still gaping when I heard the news
My sigh an inflating parachute lifting me into the air
You left and I have been hanging ever since

Busamoya Phodiso Modirwa is a Motswana writer and poet writing from Gaborone Botswana. She is a recipient of the Botswana President’s Award for Contemporary Poetry 2016. She has poems published on the Ake Review, Jalada Africa 2019, Boys Are Not Stones II and elsewhere. Her short story, ‘The Healing Balm’ was shortlisted for the Botswana Tourism Fiction Award 2019 and her poems, ‘Family Time’, ‘Surviving Suicide’ and ‘Coat Of Many Colours’ are published on the Writers Space Africa magazine. Phodiso’s work also appears on The Kalahari Review.

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