Image by Catherine via Flickr.

Look how these men move through the earth,
carelessly,
eyes forward,
shoved towards an urgent destination
(though never feeling they have arrived).

Look how closely the man stands his ground,
hard-eyed,
half-smiling,
while the woman beneath him buckles, compromises, second-guesses
her strength.

In the most simple moments,
the flow of the earth is revealed.
Skip the queue in front of the struggling women,
pace down the street, see them leap out the way.
How free it must feel to have all that room,
to move,
to become,
to create.

How amazing it is that we achieve anything at all
in the small spaces we’re given.
Those leftover, bald, barren places.
Working the earth,
decorating our tiny corner until it glistens,
until our rage breaks the rocks that carried you,
and the walls that held you up (and held us in).
Until we scream,
a dark roiling scream that sticks to all it touches,
rich as after-birth.
Look.

 

 

About the Author:

Amy is a writer and book blogger based in Johannesburg. She has twice been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and her short stories have been featured in anthologies across the continent including: CACE Writivism, Jalada Africa, The Kalahari Review and two Short Sharp Stories anthologies. She is represented by The Bent Agency in New York and London, who are currently pitching her first debut novel internationally.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

Lesley Nneka Arimah Picked for the US National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” List

Lesley Nneka Arimah has been picked for the US National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” list of 2017, on the […]

The Photographer as an Osprey | John “Lighthouse” Oyewale | Essay

On 30 June, we published Work Naija: The Book of Vocations, an anthology of writing and visual art that explores the […]

Zukiswa Wanner Calls Out Misogyny in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Takes on Politicians and the Media

Zukiswa Wanner has called out misogyny in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, taking on politicians and the media in the […]

Dinaw Mengestu and Nadifa Mohamed Have New Work in Freeman’s Magazine

Nadifa Mohamed

Dinaw Mengestu and Nadifa Mohammed both have new fiction forthcoming in the new fourth issue of Freeman’s magazine. Titled “The Future […]

The Brittle Paper Literary Awards: New Date for the Announcement of Winners

The announcement of the winners of the inaugural Brittle Paper Literary Awards was scheduled for 23 September 2017. However, a change […]

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]