[In Memoriam: Boitumelo 1978 – 2012]
tears well up in my eyes
at what’s apparent in the tell tales
that our home’s beautiful flower
born of the glow of the rose
is verily dying

my pretty niece
humble heart of a flamingo
happiness unbound
sprung from a place of promise
where the yellow sun rises in a smile
and night fails to fall at times
my first-time ever niece
is dying

my niece is dying
bowing before the ill winds
wilting away autumnally
through a virulent strain darkly
writhing in pain
wilfully obedient to the pull
and push of the serpent

my niece is dying
submitting herself like lamb to slaughter
giving up and giving in
to a momentarily stolen taste
of the bitter sweet fruit
from the prickled and forbidden
tree of ignorance
at the centred point
of our collective shame

my niece is dying
her love life but a stillborn
wrecked inside her heart
shredded like shards of glass
wretched to the core of her being
where pulse is hard to feel

my niece is dying
sucked out of her breath
lying spread eagled
without a fighting chance
verily and decidedly
giving up the ghostly epidemic

hear me tell you
my niece is really dying

Jaki Seroke