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Dec 2019
"Nou wie is jy?"
"Ouma, my naam is Siyasanga,
Ek is jou dogter Lalie se seun"
"My Lalie, sy wat in Suid Afrika bly?"
"Ja ouma, ek het vir ouma kom keur"

I watch on as the spark of recognition lights up her eyes
Happiness flowers through the creases on her face like fresh rain through a Namib riverbedΒ 
Her brow furrows as if trying to keep this revelation prisoner
The Sun continues its long journey across the sky
Her brow relaxes, and. . . . .

"Hello virtel my, my kind,
Wie is jy?"
"My naam is Siyasanga Ouma,
Ek is ouma se klien kind.
My ma se naam is Lalie"
"Lalie, sy is my dogter wat in Suid Afrika bly"
"Dis reg ouma, ek het vir ouma kom keur"

The spark returns
The fresh rain flows
The love warms my soul as we embrace
The Sun once more takes flight

Taking respite from the heat
I watch as she shuffles and shimmies and shuffles once more down the corridor
To the foot of the bare bed I've made my haven
Words like spun silk spill from her lips as she asks
"May I sit here my child?
"Ja my ouma, ouma hoef nie vra nie"
She shuffles and shimmies and sits down to read
What a beautiful life affair she has with words,
Even those from a magazine,
Whose pages danced that day at her touch
A letter whose ink for 2 decades laid dry
The name of the man she loved preserved in his evergreen book
Both retrieved from the vault that was her purse
Oh how she loved those words, and they loved her
She turns her head to look at me
With that spark in her eye
"Jy is my Lalie se seun"
I smile, my face awash with fresh rain
"Ja ouma, ek het vir ouma kom kuier"
Written by
Siyasanga Gcilishe
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