Poem: The Saturday


I am a woman standing

At the edge of a dry trench

Knowing no water will come.


My body funnelled children in its time

But I’d have whelped them in this ditch

Sooner than have them face an end like his.


His mother planted herself firm.

They cursed her away but

She stood

As though it was her hands, her feet,

They’d nailed him to.


The sun has laboured all today

Till it collapsed.


I am a woman standing

At the edge of a pointless

Scrape in the dust.


We had hoped. We had hope

Some tide would turn

But the powerful harness all power to their ends.

Death is their servant,

Sniggering as he snuffs the candles out.


Death wrung from him

A cry

When all his meaning had been sucked

Out. He broke like a dry bone.

Like any man.


But even then

I heard him whisper,


A child turning up

For the absentee.


Lights flare now from the governor’s house.

Uproar in the barracks.


I am a woman standing

With nothing.

All I can do.