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i spent 5 of 6 weeks
for air
took occasional showers
& being female sundry baths
moped in my pyjamas
kikois on warmer days
& wide-eyed wondered
about my mis-spent youth
in political meetings & allied protests
apartheid prisons in two countries
peeled onions chillies garlic beetroot & other fruit
still wash my hands
read poetry made speeches
called press when elders were barred
before I needed bras
& wide-eyed wondered
words: freedoms justice equity
now I sigh
between rasping breaths & inevitable
sculpted granite on pedestals
ossified gavels & assegais
crushing free flowing cotton
ejaculating venom into the very soul
of my nation
and so I breathe
between arbitrary bus stops
& systemic shocks to my sensitive soul
wide eyed wonder
as global warming engenders ever new species
what we natural born
political animals
shall be-come
what with “junk” DNA
“accessory” bones that fracture like egg shells & too-open hearts

will my always-spreading wings
carry me moth-like into witches’ flames
or thru sullied skies like crashing planes across my crowded continent
into callous catacombs
thru sacred mountains
remnant of the body
divine balance

- Bernedette Muthien


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