“(Not) Enough” – A Poem by Busamoya Phodiso Modirwa

“(Not) Enough”

After Ernest Ogunyemi’s “Hand Of My Fa(r)Ther”

You are leaning on my learning/despite your leaving/your leading the way to oblivion/but enough about your bear body burrowing beneath the house/enough about the obsidian hardness you left in the wake of your eruption/what meticulous scattering/enough about you shattering the loudest/the shards of you sticking to our bodies so wherever we go, there you are with us, like a god/enough about your wallowing ways/your ailing ways/your winding days/days when fatherhood was a thing relegated to forgetfulness/enough about my mistaking every boy’s cocooning arms for your warmth/enough about your hands and the nothingness they housed/enough about your house that SHAA built/enough about building when we had no mortar/no shovel/just us sandy bricks to make senthumole of a house/enough about our crumbling ways learnt from your crushing ways/enough about us//

In a quest to shed like skin my entitlement I am reminded of your pariah self/ from where I inherited this lostness/you didn’t ask for the thing that came to call your brothers by blood and you other/didn’t ask for the itch on your skin/the unable hands/the nibbling mind/your readiness to assume yourself prey and every approaching one raptor/every loving one cowbird/here to unmake with searching eyes your handmade house/daddy/I first learnt love through its lack/the conditions that filled its space/I first learnt longing through loving the constantly leaving/ my first love/my first fuck up/my first heartbreak/my first fight/my first flight/my first fall/oh my greatest fall/my greatest fear/my faithful friend/my fearless fighter/my wisest teacher/my all/oh how it all (never) falls short

Busamoya Phodiso Modirwa is a Motswana writer and poet with works published on The Kalahari Review, Ake Review, Jalada Africa, Praxis Online Magazine, Afroanthology Of Creative Nonfiction, 20.35 Africa: An Anthology Of Contemporary Poetry and elsewhere. She is a recepient of the Botswana President’s Award-Contemporary Poetry 2016 and recently completed a poetry residency at the Gaborone Art Residency Centre. Twitter:  @Phodiso_Modirwa

Banner Art: Cold Window. Digital art by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2021. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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