“Still” by Manthipe Moila

you are not that strand of hair battered into sensitivity with every kink
liable to snap at any moment
you are not that pastry that crumbled in his hands
that fell apart when he bit into you
you are not that tower of play things carelessly built
destroyed with a poke
you are not that wet coat of paint smudged permanently
marred by a careless finger
you are not that ancient, neglected novel whose spine gave way
whose insides came spilling out
you are not an infant in the hands of the cruel world
limbs flailing, head lolling back
you are not the panic that seizes you when you realise that life is a thing that needs doing


there is all that tenderness then
there is a chasm then
there you are:
unmoved by cruelty or joy
Rooted. Still.

Manthipe Moila is a Jo’burg born English Honours student at the University currently known as Rhodes. Her work has appeared in Aerodrome and Type/Cast. Her poetry blog is called Murmurs.  If you ever catch her talking to herself, she is probably just writing a poem or short story out loud.

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