Imbeleko

Poem by Unathi Nopece


My mother is vague about my welcoming ceremony. 
But I don’t press her further. 
I have learned to put the pieces together – 
a result of being the last born child. 
Plus, Google never hurt. 
So I gather the parts and assemble accordingly.

When a baby is 10 to 14 days old
After its umbilical cord has fallen off,
It is introduced to its ancestors
By burying the umbilical cord in the land
Completing the circle

I was two weeks old when
My family relocated overseas.
And so perhaps then
The ceremony doubled as
A promise 
To stay rooted 
Despite being molded in another country;
Another culture.

 

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