Ryerson English Major Zanele Chisholm share her poetry in this guest feature.
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POETRY Zanele Chisholm



Tell me of our mother

And of how we had once been her sisters

Lay distilled and suspended

In our grandmother’s womb,

Tell me of her screams

Do you find God to be bizarre?

In the way his breath creaks like

A forest in comatose

Like a hustler’s bleeding belly,

Gunshot charcoal hailing the almighty

Through the psalm of burning wind

Do you dream of our father?

Of his lips, barb-wired

Do you grapple with the stench

Our mother’s consent

From which we bloom

If you were a flower, would you be ilanga

Your face pickled with brown stumps slathered

into the circular motion

of cyclical rage,


The river leaking, 

they are,

of a fury eclipsed in your poetry

The trembling of our dialect

quaking in patois

Slumbered in a decimated tongue,

That of our mother’s mother’s mother

Can you not hear the sea?

Thick and burdened with the flesh of our ancestors

Were you born enraged?

Black Woman,

Were you born dying?