Wayfarer’s Song (For my father, died 1988)

By Zondiwe Mbano

They told me the day is long,
But the walk will be short

My father, I walked the day,
Sunset overtook me walking

They told me to light a match,
It will chase away darkness

My father, I have seen motes
Of darkness smothering light

They told me to plunge deep,
The water would not be cold

My father, I plunged: didn’t I
Faint? The water was biting

Now my teeth chatter, my ears
Buzz, and my heart is numb

Bruce Zondiwe Mbano is a lecturer in the Department of Language and Communication Skills at Chancellor College. He has authored short-stories, plays and poems, some of which have been published in The Fate of Vultures(BBC prize-winning poetry), Heinneman and The Haunting Winds(published by Dzuka). His poem The Viphya won second prize in the 2000 Peer Gynt Literally Award. Mbano’s has published beautiful poems on Afreecan Readincluding, Eyes of AgeRoad to Emmaus and The Breadwinner.