Sunday, April 7, 2013

Elephant Grass by Christopher Mlalazi

Image -

We were two, mother and I
Deep in the bush behind old Pumula township
Mother wielding a sickle
And I a catapult
 Eyes searching for anything that moved
For I was the guard
Seven years old

The grass was as tall as gum trees
Yellow as gold
A world of weaver birds
And insects with long knees
As mother cut and cut the grass
Tied it into two bundles
One big one small
And we would emerge from the bush
With them on our heads
And I walking behind mother

The bundles slowly accumulated
At the back of our home
And we would watch them slowly dry
As the seasons went by
Sometimes playing hide and seek amongst them
Or leaping into their bosoms
As if they were our parents
And we would open the buttons of their blouses
And suckle to sleep

Then months later
A lorry would arrive
And our grass friends
Would be on their way
To gogo and khulu in the rural areas
Where they would be reborn again
As thatch on roofs of huts
Providing shelter and beauty to the rural landscapes.