It is lost, the epitaph
the one that said you were a hero
the one that we unknowingly composed
as we sang hymns of independence
in April 1980
the one that we trampled upon
as we scrambled from your words and whips
the one that would not hold us up
as we scattered across the Limpopo
crossing rivers that were mightier than water
just to get away

It is lost, the epitaph
that echoes now from obsequious lips
and evaporates off their boot-licking tongues
even before we hear it
drips into the wounds
that you ripped open as we poured adulation over you
and tiptoed around your ego
whispering our discontent

It is lost, the epitaph
far flung, pushed over, gone, gone, gone
the hope, the promise, the gift you represented
fine, fine son of Africa
who not only flourished and failed
but took the bread of a continent
and flung it in oceans, where there were none
so that he would fail us again, long after he was gone.

© Iz Mazano
Photo: FungaiFoto

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