A poem for She who Hated us… She whom we have always Loved

She always hated me.

Us.

She always hated us


Comparing one to the other

Unfavourably

Distastefully

Despairingly


Wishing we were other than what we were

Other than what we are


That she could divorce herself

Skillfully

Surgically

Permanently

From at least the half … of us

She equated us with the worst.

In her mind we were the least

worthy.

The least beautiful.

The least powerful.


When she looked in the mirror

with laser precision

her gaze would excise our parts.


The parts of us which came together

holding from her vision that priz-ed thigh gap

that slender straight map signalling to the world:


more

desirable

lovely

perfect

more good.


Much time has passed now


We have taken her to places that, as a child, she never dreamed she’d be welcome. Yet welcomed she was and joyfully so.


We have transported and propelled her

on land, in the air and most recently … flying through the water


with powerful mastery.

She could not fathom life without us.


She dreads the loss of us.


She learns to transmute the hate she once felt into a something new.


In front of the mirror

She is sure to linger a few seconds longer

than is comfortable.



She states (almost academically) that she no longer hates us because hate does not form part of her world view.

Over our sins she runs slim fingers lightly then firmly, unbelievingly acknowledging our reality.


From her mouth like teeth she spits soothing words

As to a baby who will Not. Stop. Crying:


I am perfect.

I am worthy.

I am beautiful.

I am innocent.

It’s going to be alright.

She spits these words till she holds in her hands a vision might come from Above

She no longer feels she hates us but she can not as yet call it love.

Zolani Mahola

2021






*me and my miraculous limbs about to dive into the freezing welcoming sea