It was the Lipton green tea with the tag greeting the gate
as I walked towards the yellow house.
crowded and busy, moving in all directions
not a funeral, not a party, a celebration,
although taken off her hands,
all solely on my mother’s cents.

Only too happy to see packets and packets of Nik Naks
I stumbled past the slaughtered goat
perhaps too eager
far too eager to remember the vegetation by the shed
time slowed for a while as they pierced my flat feet
and I knew
I just knew
I should have just worn shoes
my ears rang trumpets as we awaited the scolding
but silence

My heart started racing as time regained its pace
as I looked up and met my father’s gaze
looking back at me
this expression was too much of a puzzle
I then looked over at my mother
her, looking at my father
the tension too heavy

But in that moment
the thorns
the itching, how it stung
my carelessness, the blame game
panicking, eyes swelling
my grandmother walked over
we went inside and
made a cup of suikerwater

On that day, neither parent was ready to parent
the goat blood on my father’s hands
the vegetables on the tray my mother had
those took precedence

I have never stood sacrifice nor sprouted for their honour
so I understand, now
little me deflected far too often,
memories are scattered, some lost
some fainting and some gone
this one stolen from a drunken confession

I stumble upon pieces of my childhood at random
by accident sometimes
attempt to piece them together
quite like a puzzle
sometimes, the one-piece missing
takes the whole picture out of focus
and sometimes
it’s the smell of Lipton green tea with the tag greeting the gate