Retsepile, Ausi oa ka
Ausi oa ka=my sister/my daughter
I wake up with bits of Africa on me, in my pockets folded maloti Coins with raised birds, paraffin and dung smoke still knit to my clothes Dear Elizabeth, the bus that crashed on the way to your house, I climbed out unhurt Greetings from each person passing, hearing my name so often A cappella singing and oil can drumming Paraffin and dung smoke Moses, I have your photos on the walls, spread in a circle around me Knit into my clothes, wrinkled but whole If I came back I could wait with my same ticket, for a different bus, that same road I wake up in the U. S. A., hair smoothed down and throat dry If I came back, I could. . . Greetings, hearing my name so often I know I am there My mouth sings your words, hands wave in the air I'm holding my ticket, wrinkled but whole, from the bus that crashed To the Setumo family, I'm sitting here remembering Re hopola Thaba Bosiu On the way to your house, chickens clucking, ringing of the hand-held bell Seitlheko, I know, the ticket, the maloti, birds and drumming Greetings from each person passing If I came back, Ntšebo, Makhotso, I could hear my name
From The Way They Say Yes Here by Jacqueline Lyons. Copyright © 2004 by Jacqueline Lyons. Reprinted by permission of Hanging Loose Press. All rights reserved.
Date Published: 2004-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/retsepile-ausi-oa-ka