Gauteng is a lie

A Poem

By Kgabo Mohlamme

Gauteng was introduced to us
like a new lover, so we blindly
dated or we went on
a blind date with
Gauteng carrying our lives
in our bag,
ready to move in, ready to settle
like refugees…

We came flooding in the booby
trapped Gauteng like sheep
evading a wolf
carrying luggage filled
with promises, dreams
and wishes

Our departure, a sad song
when our wives and children
waved goodbye with their hearts
their hands gently
balanced on their heads
like loose crowns.

The atmosphere turned cold
not too quickly like Monday morning
As their faith in our return slowly faded
as our footprints
Turned into dust

This dust that grows
either into a violent storm
or a heavy breeze
Either calmly colliding
with abandoned homes
Which children of lost heroes
howl at night for the presence
of a man when the wind blows
through the broken windows.

Or as a monster in a tornado
leaving a dreadly trail of psychics and social workers
Home wrecking with an image
of a leader, a father, a blesser.

This dust can either die damply
in the rain or forever breeze
in desert storms, forever
slamming into other dust
or slamming on dinner tables with visitors
present forever fostering other kids into
isolated sand hills.

This dust is that boy child
Born in raging shores
Trying to mould himself
without a reference
Forever following a million
reflections that turn not
too quickly into shadows and not
too quickly into dark clouds
And not too quickly into
those foot steps we left.

There must be something sinister about our shoes.
As men came and left with promise
to fill our shoes leaving with parts
of him and leaving theirs behind
He is now a collection of body parts.
So when he pulls the trigger
and says “ I am sorry its not me,
my father left me years ago…”
Believe him please.

See,when a father leaves a home
A boy quickly assumes a
place on the table
With an illusion
That by picking grains of soil
that belonged to his
father’s footprints as hands
Like in genesis
He can hold his mother
like his father or talk to her like her other.

They say boys who go
searching for their fathers
turn to be like their fathers.
So son;

Although we keep drowning our memory of home in a pool
of empty liquor bottles
Although we keep quenching
our thirst for our other in brothels and
strip clubs
Although we keep bumping
into each other in taverns
and public toilets
Or in an argument when
you ask us why we impregnate
your sisters and your niece son, Although we look like the city
has consumed us.
Never ever be tempted to search for us
Or remind us
Perhaps we wanted to stay

After all we approached the city like refugees fleeing from our homes
On our way we made sure we broke homes and bridges
Perhaps home pushed us away.

Now who can blame us for trying to find and escape from the caves that hold so much bad memories bad examples
But Gauteng will always remind us that we are not welcome, we are not home.
Gauteng is lie.