The gathering

Rethabile Masilo

· Poem of the day

The gathering

Like someone assembling a brow into a frown, the atmosphere outside

gathers; not out of anger but out of the knowledge of what is inevitable.

The first, few, flakes of sleet are on the way; the house is beginning to chill,

to ready for a post-mortem. The dog was turbulent last night, whimpering

in its kennel, sobbing like a child. They say yesterday’s errors

make tomorrow a new day. They say what was built on terror will end

in grief, until the sky opens its arms like a mother when a child gets home.

I don’t feel life in my body anymore, when I watch my mother’s sipping tea.

Afternoon clouds hanging above look like the hoary hair of ancestors

with their lifetimes upside down, their bitterest rain about to pour.

—Rethabile Masilo

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