I might not have a calabash of them sweet words,
Especially the kind that Mtho used to tell you
Before he left you for Skho.
I know I am not a wordsmith like him,
I know my tongue waggles behind the wall of my lips
Whenever I want to lay bare my heart,
I know my mind shuts down whenever I see you
And I begin to see fireflies in broad daylight,
I know I become a zombie all the time I see you,
But, look, Hlengiwe…
Look and see beyond what you see in me –
I know you know I am not a zombie.
Look beyond my numb lips and my waggling tongue,
I promise you will see all that I wish to say.
Look beyond my clueless eyes
And you will see the sparkle in my eyes.
Listen beyond my silence
And you will hear the tune of my voice.
Them sweet words I have not,
I am mute and my lips and tongue fail me.
But, Hlengiwe, I wish you knew
That for the dump, their heart speaks for them.
Nkosiyazi Kan Kanjiri is second winner of Drama For Life Online Poetry Contest held by the Wits University in 2017. In 2019, some of his poems made it in the AVBOB poetry competition. Nkosie is an avid writer, with many poems published on various online poetry magazines and platforms. He is a University of Fort Hare Social Work graduate and lives in Alice, Eastern Cape.