Emotional Hangups About Independence Poem by Sarah Mkhonza

Emotional Hangups About Independence

I saw white people driving cars
And thought all independence would
Do was rain cars. I saw them drinking
In clubs and thought liquor would rain
From the skies like rain without hail
But equally pouring hard on our heads.

I saw them dancing in clubs and though
Men would dance with me on independence
Day until I drop dead on the floor the
Way I would shop when the man who would
Come with independence takes me to London
To buy at Harrolds with the money from
The banks that we would have after independence
Only to find there was not even one dollar
In the bank.

Now it has dawned on me what independence is
A lack of money, water and electricity that
Is rationed like food for others have to have
It for they were contracted to get it by
ESCOM who controls when I switch off and go
To sleep.

Where is the new toyi toyi so I can take
To the streets and ask what it was that I
Fought for if I cannot get even lights in
My house. The olden days look better in
The distance for like a distant destination
They glimmer out there and at least I am
Walking towards hope and not kneeling on
Bended knee as if to ask a queen to marry
Me and take me into her courts so that we
Can sink in the millions that I see people
up above the neck only for the cars they drive
Are equally soft seated.

Palace like houses in suburbs new where lawns
Wear the latest manicure as the fingers that
They point at me with for I am now the thief
That demands that taxes be lowered with my
Dirty fingers that have been sinking in the
sand at the horticulture gardens of the town.

Where is the mirth that made me sing God bless
Africa with an energy of a horse and bite my
Thick lips when Die Stem was sung for here were
People who wanted to take us back to the olden
Times threatening to take the stirring wheel from
The Madibas of the time.

Tell me to speak not when I am tired of waiting
For a tomorrow written in a constitution that
Never tells when the end of one rule is for
They forge it as they go and leave me here
With the emotional hangups of independence.

Monday, December 12, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: independence,life
Mj Lemon 12 December 2016

Very powerful, Sarah. Your words bridge the ideals of personal aspirations with social realities. I'll be returning to this work from time to time.

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Seamus O Brian 12 December 2016

Justice is a hare, and the coyote never sleeps. Powerfully written. Steeped with meaning and the poignancy of a humanity that waits for a better tomorrow.

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