has his father’s eyes but they are closed because
he is exhausted; he stands still and silent,
I pray to the birds, to the horses and my
father’s family to keep him safe from harm. I see
blood, sweat and dust, his young, thin arms are
scratched, his feet bruised and I smell the juice
which has made him delirious; I smell his energy
and the burning pain yet to come. I am here to see
this boy become his father and honour our family,
our tradition, but my teeth rattle, a mother’s tears
cannot help him now, cannot stop this rite of
passage, stop the hands, her knife. Later
I will bathe his wounds.
The women are singing and drumming beside
me and I want to cry, my mind is calling out to
to calm his fear, his ordeal and I think,
are they going to kill him?
It feels like those hands have cut me,
I have my own wound as I mourn the loss
of a son, my baby boy, my little one.
He has gone now, forever, this boy; our only boy.
I feel the ancestors in my heart, my body,
my bloodline. My father gone but present,
I am all of the colours around.
I feel at peace knowing I will die here
at home with my family in my village.
In the forest the children will run over me.
Published in The Projectionist’s Playground #3, 31 August 2017, eyeglasszines.etsy.com
Editor: Julius Smit www.the-projectionists-playground.com