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In the Hill

by Rethabile Masilo

Then the two men at the top
backed into the mist, and a door opened
behind a clump of scrubs at our level.

They must have known we were trainees
sent to them by the interests of our lives,
and pressed a button on the façade to let us in.

We followed them through a crack into a hall
where music clung with the fingers
of its notes, and shadows danced lazily.

We knew some, but it took time to remember all our
childhood friends – the boy who lived down the road
and had died abruptly – shopkeepers and butchers from our town.

Till the music dropped from the walls,
sprang outside through a fissure, and left us pondering
the story of our nature in silence.

When the baas walked in,
we awoke with rakes
and pitchforks in our hands.