Her teeth are no longer white
and bright as in 1960s
when she first fell in love with my grandfather.
I blame that BB, because she always has a headache
when she doesn’t take it.
People from all corners of
Bothaville are afraid of her.
My dear black child has accused her
of being a witch.
Some have labelled her as a healer.
But I label her as my grandma.
She is my strength
and also my weakness,
the love of my life and
the philosopher who inspires everything.
She is the inspiration for all my books,
she is the heart of all my poems.
Without the stories she told me
when I was three years old,
I wouldn’t be the poet that I am today.
Her way of telling the stories
have given birth to my style of writing.
The characters in her stories
made me into the author that I am today.
I had failed to thank my grandfather
before he was wiped off this dry planet,
to either the place of rest
or given powers somehow to protect me
from distractions on this earth.
My grandma held my hand
and dragged me to his grave,
ordered me to place a stone
on top of his grave
and forced me to speak to him.
“Speak to your grandfather, Teboho,
he is listening to you,” she said.
She kneeled before the grave
where the person she’d loved was laid.
The person she knew
and spent her life with
since she was seventeen.
But 2009 was not kind to us
as it wiped his roots out.
Does it make a difference
that I am named after him?
Yes his name will live on,
but his body has decomposed.
My grandma is old,
but thankfully she knows 2021.
I know how her body is tired,
the aches she feels at night,
waking up with a headache
and a heavy load on her body,
As if her ninety-six years
are not both blessing and curse.
I know she can’t live on
but her memory shall.
All my poems and my books
will always reflect her.
I will recite poems about her,
I will paint her as the hero she is.
I will be her philosopher
and tell her story to her grandchildren
whom she kisses every night
before she goes to sleep
Sleep that might turn into a nightmare
for both the Ntaita and Tayita families.
We will weep on
but her love will give us strength again.