Today in English Method class, we all brought an original poem to class and had it peer-assessed. I brought in Sweat and Written to be read out loud from this blog, and nervously chewed on my fingernails while the class tore through my thoughts on nightmares and friendships. Turns out they actually quite liked them. I am not walking around with a puffed-up chest, by no means. At least not constantly. I will be signing framed photos of me tomorrow outside Pick n Pay if you are interested though. Just thought I’d put it out there.
Anyway, that poetry episode, coupled with my awesome recent job offer (by job, please don’t think I mean means of income, ahaha, ahaha, no) for Sub-Editor of the quirky and artsy Jiggered Magazine, has really rekindled my desire to write.
At the moment my usual self-centred introspective writing pen is dry and shunned. I get my motivation and meaning from extrinsic stimuli, like watching a grown woman cry because despite her exploding passion, she is not meeting her aims and in her hands are real lives, of fragile, sick children, and there just is not enough money, there are just not enough people, there are not enough people with skills, and I just stood there and listened to her cry.
I guess that’s what I can say for today.
I am scared of getting a call one day inviting me to stand over two small coffins.
I am scared of never getting that call. Of never finding out.
I am haunted by the cynical biting thought that all the lumo flash-cards and alphabet posters and phonic exercises of the world will not be enough and they certainly will not cure HIV. And that one hour a week is no replacement for a deceased mother and an absent father. And that in the middle of the night the real monsters of this world, the men with arms to silence and pin you down, I am scared they will come and brand these children like cows, with a mark that says I was here, and you will remember this moment forever.
I do not understand how I will spend 70 years more with this fluttering pounding trembling heart of mine. I do not understand how anything can fit on these small shoulders of mine, and if I will ever see myself as a “grown up”. Dare I remove the inverted commas and say, that is ME, that is I. I am responsible, I will lead you.
My Drama teacher keeps saying, “Nothing this year will make you feel more like a teacher. Either you start to believe it yourself, or you never will feel like a teacher. There is nothing we can do to make you feel like a teacher.”
I pick up a tiny tiny jacket, I watch thin ankles prance around to no music, I grin back to smiles made up of uneven teeth, baby teeth, big people teeth – and all the words of parents ringing in my ears
You must eat before you go don’t swim after don’t take sweets from bring a hat bring a jersey where are your say goodbye now don’t forget you must tell me if anyone ever are you sure you are not can I help you listen with me
It’s like that song by Iron & Wine – I dedicate my life to believing that the sunrise will bring hope where it once was forgotten.