Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I came here by: Uthando

The following poem is one I wrote for my Honors thesis under Professor Linda Bierds after returning home from three months living in Cape Town, South Africa.  Today, I journey back there and this journey is much more to me than just another race. It is a return to find an important part of myself.

I came here by: Uthando

I came here by two: they were barefoot and shy, they held to the outer edge of the circle of older basketball players like the shanties, dilapidated shacks and streets made of dust held the
lush green oasis of the Peace Park.
Everyone was watching the coaches talking,
while they watched me with expressions
I cannot unravel; they gained
courage and divided and conquered me,
one to each side of me, head on hip,
my hands reaching down to cup the
sides of their faces; they each took my hands
and kissed them softly with little lips that seemed
to have only known their mothers and
fathers, they kissed my hands with knowledge like children grown old in too few years; I picked
them up in my arms off the cool wet grass,
one to each hip and carried them away
with me as far as I could, across the sanctuary,
yet not crossing from grass to dust.
I carried them back again, away from the sun’s heat
into the cool shade of the lemonwood tree,
staring into their dark brown eyes and saying
nothing because there was no language
between us, they kissed me on my pale white cheeks and I on their deep black foreheads until someone said we have to go now; I placed them on the ground, waved goodbye and I watched them run behind the car, so
as not to be left behind. But it was I who was left behind. 

copyright 2003 Devon Crosby-Helms

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