Makarapa - Poem by Mpho Ramaano
Come lucky Christmas
they come home
carrying faces of Marabastad,
Witbank and Johannesburg
in their huge machangani bags.
24 hrs or more
for almost non-stop
they deafen the villages
with their shouting Tempests and Omegas.
Five days come and pass,
then the villages are silent as a frozen ocean,
makarapa long gone,
but left behind seedlings
in the face of hunger and despicable poverty.
Their children will starve to death
while they get sucked by nude girls in the city.
At least they did come home,
so the wives say.
Some only come back home to be buried
in the land of their forefathers.
Some only come back
When retired, tired and coughing asbestos
to seek care in the hands of their wives and children.
No money, no pride, no life,
but at least they come home.
Some never come back at all,
their graves are unknown,
the hands of ancestors can’t reach them,
they got devoured by AIDS,
leaving their wives, children and families
Ao! Boa gae Matome thata’ seepa (O, come home Matome)
o remile go lekane (you have played enough)
Bona meokgo ya dikwata go robega (see tears of our elderly)
e felela fase (water the ground)
Badimo ba reng naa? (What word should ancestors dare utter?)
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