3 Sisters

By | 1 April 2019

Because I know women
who turn facts into fury.
Cold backs turned
into children learnt.
I see strength in aching bones.

My sister asked me,
‘If I told you I want to love,
heal the world with love,
what would you say?’

I told her I know her well enough
that her love does not bind people
confuse and use people.
Her love is freedom.

Fist raised,
head turned to the sky.
I wonder how long these lies will feed us,

before we notice our stomachs are empty.
If our legs will grow wary
only in our
your youth.

My other sister said,
‘You will never be as revolutionary
as you are now.’
She said,
‘We all had our activism phase.’

And my heart hurts with hers
I know what it’s like to move in place
not sure of one’s pace.

I cannot be what I’m not.

Silent resistance is simply
not me, so I ask you.

If we do not see eye to eye.
Can we still stand side by side
through adversity?

Can I trust you not to feast on my flesh?
Head bent in work I didn’t use to pay
mind to all the beneficiaries

before I realised it rarely benefits us.
Election comes or
the end of a financial year—

Do not feed them fish.
But teach them to fish.

What of all the water you’ve poisoned?
There’s barely any fish and the ones
we catch make us sick.

My oldest sister asks me,
‘What of the people who
don’t know how we’ve lived,
what do we say to them?’

Suddenly I wish silence
was my bestfriend.


Idil Ali: vocals
Yusuf Harare Jr: keys

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