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"Morning song," a poem by Rethabile Masilo

Updated: Jun 8, 2019

Morning song

Suddenly I felt awkward, and walked off, left heaven

and its Messiah lectures and that flock of sheep,

went down along old rail-tracks past neon signs

whose ‘Welcome’ flickers at the world,

beyond platforms reserved for new arrivals,

breathing the night air, toward my brother’s—

his door was locked, and no reggae was playing;

then to my sister’s: too quiet, no smell of food.

I headed to mum’s but dared not get her out of bed,

for the hour was ungodly. So I called our dog

and made him chase his tail until morning,

whereupon a sun opened the eyes of all the plants

and started to untie their hands with its light,

each reaching for the nearest trumpet flower.

They played with the birds a song so soft,

your heart bloomed. My siblings came out to hear,

and upon seeing me, threw their hands in the air,

wondering how on earth I had made it back

from the life I had been living, so far from home.

‘The folks there were taking my soul away,’ I said.

‘And that is why I came back from the dead’.


"Morning Song" is from Letter to Country (Canopic Publishing, 2015.) This reading was streamed live for Transatlantic Poetry hosted by Malik Crumpler, June 3, 2018.

For more info, visit Rethabile's author page.

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