African Poems

Oswald Mbuyiseni Mitshali (Nightfall In Soweta)

Nightfall comes like
a dreaded disease
seeping through the pores
of a healthy body
and ravaging it beyond repair

A murderer’s hand,
lurking in the shadows,
clasping the dagger,
strikes down the helpless victim.

I am the victim.
I am slaughtered
every night in the streets.
I am cornered by the fear
gnawing at my timid heart;
in my helplessness I languish.

Man has ceased to be man
Man has become beast
Man has become prey.

I am the prey;
I am the quarry to be run down
by the marauding beast
let loose by cruel nightfall
from his cage of death.

Where is my refuge?
Where am I safe?
Not in my matchbox house
Where I barricade myself against nightfall.

I tremble at his crunching footsteps,
I quake at his deafening knock at the door.
“Open up! ” he barks like a rabid dog
thirsty for my blood.

Nightfall! Nightfall!
You are my mortal enemy.
But why were you ever created?
Why can’t it be daytime?
Daytime forever more?

Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Poem Edited: Tuesday, October 29, 2013

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Comments about Oswald Mbuyiseni Mitshali (Nightfall In Soweta) by African Poems

  • GeneArt (10/21/2018 12:13:00 AM)

    The poem was about the south african apartheid regime

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  • Birgitta Abimbola HeikkaBirgitta Abimbola Heikka (5/13/2014 5:04:00 PM)

    Nice poem. I gather this is about the fear of going out at night in Soweto.

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  • Babatunde AremuBabatunde Aremu (11/14/2013 2:12:00 AM)

    A harrowing experience at the hand of mankind. Man's inhumanity par excellence turning nature a fearful thing. Africa, oh! Africa

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