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"After lunch on Sundays," a poem by Rethabile Masilo

Updated: Jul 18, 2023


After lunch on Sundays

Later in life when my father was sick

and coughing blood,

we tied a hammock outside

between two willows, heaved him up,

and left him there like a foetus

with an old transistor tuned to the BBC

for a pillow, and dreams of politics.

Each day after lunch we sent him

to before his birth, plugged

into his mother's wall, which

he loved, he loved everything then,

being young again, and our reward

for placing him in that womb

was the way he studied us

from the window of his room

when he thought we weren't looking,

his eyes soft and glazed,

a hand sweeping for someone's to hold

under the sheet. My father was Button

before his time, from a stern,

angry father we hadn't outgrown yet,

to this boy we shall now not forget.


Rethabile Masilo is a Mosotho poet who lives in France. He has published four books of poetry and edited two anthologies. For more info please visit Poems Rethabile Likes (PRL) and his Canopic author page.

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