The man who stumbled off the face of the earth,
stumbled off the face of the earth with eight
gospel songs stuck in his teeth, blue winds peeling
off his skin and his bones turning and turning into
My father—the man who stumbled off the face of the earth, fell into time trying to catch fire. The flames shining darks of youth and a lover. The kind that folds and knead and steal silence from the hours until we cannot see ourselves anymore.
It was Sunday and the ghost of Marea was howling and becoming human. Father was a tired man, and tormented years lined up well in the blinks of his eyes. And on drenched days like this, we gathered father and sang him the Domboshaba songs. We said “we know the years broke your heart”.
And father stepped off the line, of humans who were remembering how to stop haunting themselves. Father filled the cracks with rain and our singing voices. We sound like mother. We sound like earth and light. Something worth stumbling off the face of a lonely earth. Something to come back home to.
Gaamangwe Joy Mogami is a Motswana poet, playwright and screenwriter. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Botswana. Her poetry has been published in Kalahari Review, African Writer, Afridiaspora, and Poetry Potion. She has performed her poetry at UB Writers Workshop, Maitisong Writers Workshop, Poets Passport in Botswana, High Spirits Poetry slam and Pune Poetry Slam in India. She is the founder and editor of Africa in Dialogue.