in memory of the old country


Mzansi you never leave me.
Your long neck reaches
like a tall giraffe you stretch
curious to see
what I am doing here.


You ask
so many questions, mostly when
am I coming home, when
will I bring myself back
to you in one piece. I cry
quietly.


shy to say "this is home now" and 
"I am not coming back but
I am always with you, do not be sad,
do not be sorry, do not cry for me
Mzansi." These words seem
empty. You live rent-free
in my head, Mzansi. You


infuse my stark winters with your blazing passions
your sorrows
your conflicts
your unresolved estate
matters, your
fears for your future
your mistrust of your own men 
your worries of what to eat
your craving of knowledge
your curiosity that killed
the sleepless cat, solitary lion
that I am, the lioness that lies with you
every absent night. You eat


the filigree trees of my delicate
foreign land, nuzzling, searching
for non-existent leaves.


we are poor here too
Mzansi. We only look rich
from a distance, to you.