A dead swallow

by AA Maree

I saw a swallow on the walk
up on the bench, dead on the floor
I’d guess a cat or dog had got it
something pretty and hopeful
now in the sand at least
walkers can see it, stop
and say how sad.

I walked with you because you asked
now at the bench we talk of this
and that, you touch my shoulder
then a kiss, not much else to do I guess.

After a while my open eyes see yours still
closed, it must be nice.
Do you know I’m looking at the trees
and your cheek and nose or do you think
I’m lost as you are in our mediocre meeting lips.
Make an effort, I chastise myself, and close
my eyes dispelling thought.

We walk back and pass the bird
exposed and rolled in dirt.
On closer look we see it seems so ripped apart,
its insides out, without a heart.

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Myesha Jenkins – Tribute

Botsotso would like to pay homage to Myesha Jenkins, the poet and promoter of poetry who died on Saturday, 05 September 2020. Myesha was a founder member of Feelah Sistah, the all-woman poetry group that in its time made such an impact. Thereafter, she was indefatigable in organising and strengthening poetry platforms on radio and for live performance/readings. Myesha’s work was included in two Botsotso productions – the anthology Isis X and the recording Roots and Branches. Her spirit as a politically conscious, jazz-loving artist lives on and is well expressed in her seminal poem Autobiography which was included in both these projects.

Click here to read Autobiography, a poem by Myesha Jenkins.

A Call for Submissions: Johannesburg in Poetry