image source:


i saw you walking like a broken beautiful gaudy flower,
your clothes hung so beautifully on your frame,
but i couldn’t see your soul,
your eyes were filled with a huge cloud of darkness,
your tongue moved about searching for meaning
in the tastelessness of your broken chapped lips,
i wanted to tell you that you are depressed,
but the deceit of your smiles wouldn’t allow me.
brother, i saw you walking like a broken beautiful flower,
sometimes you appeared in chic like a kitten,
yet your soul hang so vulnerably at edges of your
scrawny frame, your face spoke a different language
from what your lips professed,
i wanted to tell you that you are depressed,
but the anger that hung on your lips like a broken
purple cloud couldn’t allow me to say a word.

brother, i saw your soul drown in your parched skin,
skin so dry it was devoid of contentment, love, and laughter,
i saw your eyes abandon your face and disappear in shame,
but you pulled a front so meticulous you looked like an angel,
because at church you sang and preached like a bolt of fire
falling from heaven, yet i still see the ghost in you,
it speaks but you ignore it,
perhaps because it is unafrikan to be depressed,
maybe because men are not allowed to show when
the storms within wreak havoc in their souls.

i saw you finally collapse like a slaughtered cow
surrendering on its knees, mama said it was a curse,
maybe church will do, our sister said maybe it was
the ancestors, but sangomas couldn’t free you from the thorn,
until the day you decided material was never
enough in the final hour. then you took your own life.

Keketso Mashigo is a poet, co-author of an essays anthology: Shadows of Their Mothers, short story writer, and freelance journalist, he is a book reviewer at Pulp Review, translator and researcher at Oral History of South Africa. His work appeared on different publications. Keketso writes in the rural Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanaga, South Africa.

Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.