Walls

A Poem

By Nkateko Masinga

These walls do not confine me
because memories say Come find me
Faces of the past pass by and I face
that which has (not) passed me by.
That which is (not) goodbye.
That which is See you again.
I will be waiting at Tonderai’s Shed in the pouring rain.

I reminisce about my lover’s kiss.
I hear him.
My hymn
about a saviour’s return.
He is the saviour and I am walled in and waiting
like a princess in a tower.
His hands are reaching for a flower
made of concrete,
cold and unforgiving.

But his touch is soft,
Gentle,
Tangible.
Walls crumble.

I remember the scent of baked goods wafting from my mother’s kitchen.
Flour and sugar on her apron.
A place where joy was a flower ready for picking.
But what are thorns on roses for, if not for pricking
those who did not come for beauty alone, but to bleed too?
Those who yearn to taste freedom with the bitterness of the long walk?

I am detained but not deterred.