A Poem

By Pheletso Lehlehla

Fathers who garden
He gets up at 6 am to nurture the soil
With his shovel he begins to dig my grave
This summer the rain didn’t come
The spinach has wilted
The soil eroded
Nature’s disrupted my departure
This means I can’t go
This means I’ll have to wait a while longer
Just the other day he replaced his fork and spade
Said they’d began to rust
I wonder if he sees that I’m as hollow as the compost heat
Except nothing feeds me
Does he know why I dry my tears
I’m afraid they’ll water my own grave
And maybe keep me alive
It’s 7 am and I’m staring at the space where trees once stood tall
Some cut to their roots while others remain with stalks
An unsettling warmth fills me
Knowing that they will never be
And someday,
I’ll be lifeless too