At Beitbridge Border Post

root - Posted on 01 January 2000

by Staff Writer

Consider this pinpoint of entry at Beitbridge

And loose control to the neurosis of this border

To paper passports, rubber stamps and ink

That simply professes where one belongs

Consider also the money-mongering border-man

Maybe he is trying to uphold the order of things

Maybe he is trying to survive through this order of things.

The order of things is now more stunning

That when they were running out of their country

Nobody showed anyone passports, rubber stamps and ink

Entries and exits were at every point

Without this stunning awareness of this border

So time, like water, flows away and is soon forgotten

And the raven shivers into the wind at this point of entry.

From a breathe of a connection

From the brutality of denying this connection

From borders become electric walls

From bonds broken by borders

From standing all day long at border post counters

From standing all day long at home affairs offices

From laws made to make us feel illegal

From eyes which tell which land belongs to which people

From sleeping all night long in tall birch trees

From a pack of hungry lions

From a pack of border-gangsters, hyenas and wild dogs.

The voices are still coming up from the river

The river roars into our ears one song

Of the history of a people who have lost their way

Over and over again.

It is a hammer’s job that trampled the place we were born

Our country is now a bleeding wound that cannot contain us

But in the looking we discover the absence of blood

Whilst we stumble along this mad road

Of becoming citizens in another country

And being fully human some day.

So we live in a remembered sorrow

The lost ones are like this-an unborn soul

The ones left alone, humankind’s bastard daughter

Just a colourless corpse!

It is an African phenomenon, I tell you

It is the thing that has come out of all of Africa

Like an imitation of an imitation

But always pretending to ourselves

What selves, I ask you

Broken men, broken women, broken children

Broken, broken, broken, broken, broken.


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