Currently translating my life into poetry…

Avenue of the People

If we name roads after heroes,
let us start with this list

mothers
undeterred as they wait
just like yesterday, for a sale at dusty markets

fathers
dragging heaviness home
emptied out again, at the end of a month of work

children
after the chores are done
books wide open, doing homework in the dark

daughters
skipping school one more time
buckets on their heads, carrying another 20 litres home

sons
who once lifted crocodiles up
now swimming across the Limpopo, to send 200 rands to Harare

name roads after them
for not buckling under your weight
for giving their youth up to your circles of dishonor
for taking up every bit of slack
that you dropped in your sleep

give streets to them
for walking barefoot while you flew
for chanting slogans in your name
holding up the flags
you said had meaning

The next street we name
call it Avenue of the People
then burn up the plaques
we can rename roads another day
when we have sustenance enough to walk them
for now, draw roadmaps that gather us around this cause
of building a broken nation,
hammering out highways to abundance
and pathways to bring our kin, far flung across the seas
back home to help in pulling this country off its knees.

 

POEM © 2019 – Iz Mazano
For #30PoemsInNovember
PHOTO Royalty free – Frederik Löwer on Unsplash

 

We’re focussing on vanity again and not on solving the country’s problems. I have no problem with having Zimbabwean names for our roads, but this is not a priority.

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