Family Ties

I wonder Ma, what prayer did you send up to the heavens for me?

Did you know once I became a wife

That my feet would grow cold too,

A hint of death in the air at every one of these unions,

Ashes to ashes,

Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them

I am shaken

For with the help of the reverend, I fear God barely stays the night

I now pronounce you man and wife

Tomorrow, I’m reading gruesome headlines

As the photo of him bending his, is brought to me

With her once, so ecstatic!

You bend yours so willingly before the masses

An omen of the lows you vow to make her stoop to

In the thrilling chase…

Til death do us part

Will you bring her to her knees behind closed doors,

I wonder, have her begging for life

As if you’re her last airway

In death and in fear,

You want her to remember you as that

Crazy how I keep watching the same movie, yet still, I’m forced to cover my mouth in naive suspense.

I have to keep hoping they’ll surprise me, these unions

Seen enough murders from one day run-ins

To know that Yena wenzeni? (What did she do to upset him?) is a tired excuse

She made me do it

All I seem to get are reruns,

* * *

Simple subtitles

Umendo kawuthunyelwa gundane

(loosely meaning: you can’t send for anyone to tell you how marriage will be, you will only know once on the inside)

To justify the horrors some are still expected to endure once they enter into the blissful institution of marriage

Still a distant prayer escapes clenched jaws

Can this story be different?

Let not the sins I bear witness to

Be inherited by my granddaughter


We say Yes to these rings

Only to find at times that

From the moment we welcome these momentary gestures

An heirloom is already passed down

Wrapped around delicate fingers

Knots get tied at times,

With the strongest of bonds

Wrapped in a pretty little noose


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