(The Crystal Age / Pretoria - South Africa)

Feelings: Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is divine,
I eat it and mine its energy
become a projectile
run highly-charged
in a riotously engaged smile –

at night sleep evades,
muscles stiffen and
the vapours of Lethe
are denied me by a
chronic blocked nose

next day I wash dishes
break into tears,
overcome by fears filled
with grave foreboding,
the pain of a broken family
welling up in me

I remember sadness
of our existence,
of concentration camps
orphans in Russia,
refugees of Africa,
consumed by a sense
of tragedy

I remember voices
of angels singing
ghomma- songs*:

“Jy was steeds ‘n baie-bietjie-babie,
jou mamma kon nooit dink jy sou so groei nie –
en so diep, in my hart kom woon….”

and remark with heart sinking
how my kids are growing away from me;
I remember brother and sister,
see the face of grandma
in my thoughts, and
I cry desperately…

* A group known as “Die Doedies” sang songs called “ghommaliedjies” in the sixties:
“You were still a very-little-baby, your mummy never thought you would grow so quickly, becoming deeply embedded in my heart…”

by Margaret Alice

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