i came here on hungry feet
restless bones long jangled
on the outskirts of a mother city
bones grown strong
in flat dry places
drinking brakwater drawn
from boreholes reaching deep
into a silent thirst
digging deep into places
my childish tongue could
never say the name of.

and all the while
lonely stones were calling

i ate from the trees
as they grew there
naartjies in the yard –
figs and gooseberries grown
on koffieklip earth in the soft hills
at the edge of the flatlands.
amatungulu for my sharp edges
picked from neat hedges grown
on the slopes of a mountain
carved of sandstone.
i moved and moved again
eating quartz and clay
and the sharp shards of arrowheads
food from an unforgiven land
hardening me off
growing listening bones.

and all the while
these stones were calling

i came here on hungry feet
from even further away than that.
i am an unmapped diaspora
of the genealogy of me.
i came here
without knowing how to speak
or the songs that sang me into being
i do not know the names
of the places
i have called home.

yet all the while
these stones were calling

my daughters’ bones
have grown here
on rich dark soils
and forest edges
they have night danced with the fireflies
and wept with the planting of trees.
we have sung new songs
to the flowing of the river
and the falling of the leaves.
let my bones grow soft here
let us be, to those who are still to come,
the ones who came before.014


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