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Mandisa Mabuthoe

Author Bio

Mandisa Mabuthoe

i tend to wish a lot when witnessing demands that i be still and feel

“What kind of mother will you be?” she says
“You tend to wish a lot
when witnessing demands that you be still and feel
you’re always prancing round the changes
with new principles and brand new songs”
But I don’t want to have a child
I like the feeling of a swollen tune
just the feeling coz it softens up my arrogance
though I’d like to be a mother
I don’t want to have her children
I don’t like things that don’t choose me
the joys inside me now have made
a mission out of breathing
better the way I'm breathing when I need a little joy
a little heavy on the vacant side
a little small and needy on the hopeless side
within consistent bursts of hunger sung in
“breathe me in and keep me safe, breathe me in”

“And what kind of mother will you be?” she says
“Sometimes you complicate the rhythm of a swollen tune
but some things you just know are true”
and I would like to be a mother
but I will not have her children
I like to fish for loose convenient flaws
when witnessing demands that I breathe in and feel
for it’s a Patient Revolution
but what kind of mother will I be
my gifts tell me I’ll tremble when he smiles
and whisper kisses when I name him
might call him Cairo or Josiah
someone who’d like to stay for tea
and hear the biscuits crumble with me
oh I don’t want to have those children
give me more than this
the stench of people I can’t touch
people who know I like to touch
before I drag you through and in and all about my habits
in a poem for too long again?
and then sing it softly for me while I wish a lot,
that swollen tune that softens up my arrogance.