Bostwana: Slaughter | Tj Deema

There is a bellow the cow makes at the moment of slaughter
A kind killer knows how to suddenly stab and slash
The bleating goat’s throat to silence
To still the beat of a heart that surely must know
What is coming? If only once it is too late

He could slaughter and skin a goat
Taller than I could stand then
I would watch, corn-rowed hair
Squeezing conspicuously against an open wall
As he would flatten wild sage with a stomp and double thud

The reeds would lie obedient
Their sweet stench seeping unnoticed into the air
I remember the first time I saw life
Congealed at the heel of a boot, dribbling off a jack-knife
Wet on the Pointer’s short-wire fur and tongue

I am no longer that easily removed
Though the sound my green city tongue made then
Undid all his efforts at kindness
Dragging the ritual performed unwilling
Back from the sage-smoked other side
To bear witness before my youthful verdict

 


TJ Dema
 is a veteran spoken word poet from Botswana who has been published in multiple anthologies. She is currently a participant in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. She blogs at tjdeema.blogspot.com

 

The African Book Review is posting a poem from each of Africa’s 55 countries over the next few weeks. Poem suggestions can be sent through the comments form below. ‘Like’ us on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr to read all the poems.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s