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in a world gone mad
the shoes i marched in
was beaten in
stuck in stinking apartheid prisons in
are signals to ad agencies
of corporate ladders
i’m meant to be devoted to

i shudder
and release the only sound possible
from my woman’s throat
constricted by violences
perpetrated for too many centuries
it even permeates my country’s cabinets

and so I cry in memory of all
who came before
for us to honour, without commodification
the raped battered
the thoroughly dead
so that
those few remaining consciences
may honour
our ancestors
amidst the hyenas

FOR: Sarah Bartmann, Ruth First & Nelson Mandela

- Bernedette Muthien

 

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