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The face of your father comes
through flung windows into the bedroom
of this sweltering August. In a bid
to keep us from needing the dead,
he floats toward the bed where the four of us
are golliwogs sprawled in heat.
I indulge in the visionmy father-in-law
holding my hand the night of his visit.
Overcome by decayed decades and hapless days,
the face of your father comes when I’m awake
as when I’m asleep. I wear it like a mask,
I penetrate a different peace, I know.
Here no one’s allowed to weep.
They all come out every night for a spell
to touch the world, he says, and leave behind
gravestone, garlands, wilting plants,
and long to be with you a while.
© Rethabile Masilo
In case your computer is Persian-script challenged, the title is “AUGUST”, or Mordad, and the poem is to “Ordibehesht”, my wife. “Ordibehesht” means April in Farsi, the month of her birth. I have written a poem or two before dedicated to ‘Masekoja, my wife’s name in Sesotho. I’m not polygamous.