Daddy, why did you leave early?

Why did you have to go, depart, rest in peace, die?

Why papa?

Did you ever think of me?

Eh papa, did you?

Did you ever think of the pain, regrets, remorse, confusion, fear you would leave behind?

Did you papa?

A lot of things I would have said, done differently.

Numerous bitter words, needless fights, I would have avoided.

Had I known, oh papa!

Had I known our time was short.

I was foolish, careless; I wasted it.

Squandered the limited grains of sand, left in our hourglass.

I realized it too late when only one grain of sand remained.

No matter how much love, remorse, affection.

I tried to squeeze into the moment.

It still felt altogether flimsy.

Measured by the ocean of unsaid words, unexpressed love, standing behind me.

Oh papa, oh my daddy, I am now a mum, a mother!

Yes me, your little girl, I am now a parent too.

It hurts, oh how it hurts papa, for you will never see how they

resemble you.

Papa, are you proud of me?

You would have been elated, glad to meet them.

Wouldn’t you papa?



A heart burdened bursting and overflowing.

Full of words, faces, expressions, smells, memories, places.

Weighed with, sorrow, yearning for a loved one long gone.

Lightened with the joy of remembering a cherished one.

The face, once fading away, now recollected,

Memories have waned, details now vague.

Barren thoughts, without light, life or song.

Now like a blossoming flower emerges.

The dust blows off.

The light settles on the yellowed, musty pages of remembrance.



In a flash, I acted, I did it!

No taking back, though yearning amends to make.

Longing with the whole heart and might to rectify.

Break, demoralize, diminish, shame.

This is the result, not the original intent.

The consequence of thoughtless, rash gesture.

Spilled milk, one cannot gather.

Why lament and cry?

The deed I have done, make amends now I must.

Which road to take, to repair?

Why regret without anything doing?

For not all done, is of reproach.

Only a particular thoughtless deed.

Owing not to the essence of the action, rather to the motive behind what one did.

‘Twas a hand raised in angry frustration.

Landing fast and hard, on child’s  bewildered face.

The child in mischief found, deserved not,

Weighty punishment, which on him, befell.



 They say it, without a word uttering.

A glance, a tone of voice, what went unsaid.

Emerging spaces within spaces.

These non-verbal conversations, pregnant with significance.

These silent speeches, bloated, ripened, like a boil about to burst.

Exploding, projecting the infected pus.

Leaving a gaping hole where it once was.

Excruciating pain in the moment of truth, where deceit, hypocrisy unmasked.

Oh, what a blessed relief, from the pungent release of make-believe.





She sat dejected, looking at the remains of what was once her home.

“Gone, everything, I have lost everything,” she said.

“I am all in this household, the mum, the dad, the sole breadwinner. The family depends on me” she continued.

Her eyes seemed glazed and numb from shock.

“They burnt it all down.The house, the belongings. The money which I use as capital for my small business. Even the granary with maize that was to see us through the dry spell” she said.

Here she paused a bit, and her voice almost broke.

She pulled herself together and continued….

“The papers, my children’s high school certificates, all burnt, including our identity cards.”

She shook her head in disbelief. She hoped that through a stroke of luck, everything would end up being an imaginary ordeal. Her most frightening, horrifying, distressing nightmare.

The acrid and pungent smell of smoke rose from the dying embers of the fire. A fire that consumed and shattered her world as she knew it.

The smoke hit her nostrils and aggressed her eyes. She drew herself back into the harsh existence she wanted to escape.

It was no nightmare; It was now her new reality.

She looked at me and smiled, a broken, empty, soulless smile.

Her shoulders slumped, and her eyes drifted into the horizon.

She stared hard. Waiting, searching for a glimmer of hope. Solace that came from somewhere, anywhere.

She needed it, to keep her afloat in the sinking sand of mayhem and broken reality.