“Smallgirl” by Vangile Gantsho

Smallgirl with moths in her mouth
moves in silence
speaks anger in glances.
knows the dagger of words
smallgirl. big voice.
knows how earthquakes begin
in the rumbling of her belly entire families collapse

smallgirl cares too much for such a small girl
smallgirl with treacherous eyes
smallgirl carries too much feeling in her lungs
knows the sting of lonely
smallgirl sees too much. breathes too much.
takes up too much air
smallgirl is too much mirror and expectation.
too much wanting more

smallgirl should know better than to try fight the sun
smallgirl with hands of spades
wants to plant and grow
smallgirl dreams too much. hopes too much
smallgirl thinks she is the ocean
smallgirl is a stream
smallgirl will break her heart with all this want
smallgirl is not even the wind

smallgirl must learn to swallow
and be pretty

Vangi Gantsho is a poet and cultural activist. Truthful and, at times hard-hitting, she has participated in poetry events and festivals around the world, as well as in a number of poetry plays. As a producer, Vangi has put together shows such as Katz Cum out to Play, The State Theatre’s Night of the Poets, and Human4Human.  Her work has been published in literary publications including The Agenda (2004), Sabel (UK, 2010), Wits Press (2011), and Botsotso (2015). Most recently, Vangi released her début collection:  Undressing in front of the window (2015). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University currently known as Rhodes.



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