some ailment ate my father,
they say he died of pulmonary tb,
his death certificate says so too.
with pressed lungs and loose stomach
he lay helpless at van velden hospital
rush gnawed at his worn-out body.
muscles withered away
like cattle gripped by hostile drought.
45 years of age – never married,
my father was a truck driver,
a church man –
people’s “man” too.
he perished in the claws of venial sickness
in his sleep – silenced by pain
18 children orphaned.
we buried him last week,
tears poured like torrential rains
anger of unfinished business,
and a life gone too soon.