Flashbacks - Poem by Gert Strydom
Her older brother brings
violets from the marsh to her
when she is seven years old
with her hair shining like gold
and she pours him some tea
that he gets on the small doll table
that he had made for her
from wood cuttings
and he reads October month’s poem
on her birthday,
that makes her smile
like a small angel.
When her mother hits her
with a black shoe
she is on her brother Pieter’s back
who caries her out of the danger
while blows rain down on them
and she kicks and shouts
while he flees with her
and he is only groaning softly.
The first day on their way to school
they ride two-two on Rondeberg
and Rodjer and she’s a bit scared
but her big brother Frans
will with his gentleness
conjure everything right
if somebody dares to do something
and she is unhindered.
Her older sister Lenie
in the afternoons tells
about the things that she reads
in bits and pieces
like a beautiful sequel
but she has to try her best
not to forget about the porridge
that is burning and are without salt.
In the old house
she runs around her father
where he stands talking
and farts loudly
one fart after another
and he scolds her
but asks half amused
is she now have become a motorbike?
Her brother Frans
is always the silent one
who knows and counts the sheep
and when her young ox blows up
she wants him to pierce it with a knife,
but he leads the animal to the shadow
and they pray
and before twilight it is already better.
On the day that Frans had to shoot
his own black mare
because of the animal’s suffering
the wind howled monotonous.
His older brother Pieter
only wounded the suffering animal
and he cried
when he lifted the.303 Martini Henri rifle himself,
but his shot was deadly accurate.
She and her brother Koos
sit against the wall
while the sun is setting
with red stripes against the clouds
and her mother and their aunt Krissie
are both at the gate with the horse cart
and the two children argue
and he says that their dad is there.
Maybe he wanted to comfort his small sister
or perhaps he did not believe
that their father had died
at the end of the day.
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