by Thabo Jijana
As for me, I had taken the forefeet,
hands as fetters about the hooves
—not to say the doe could object
from where she rested
flat on her back,
legs spread apart,
her own angora pelt
a foam mattress.
Cousin Wele had one knee on the floor
beside the gaping abdomen,
scooping the entrails
onto a metal washbasin.
Somewhere about the kraal, I heard Papa
call out my name. Said to bring a cooking pot
for the offal. ‘Now.’
My legs felt numb. ‘And stop
being so slow.’
I walked out, then I walked back in
to find Uncle Duma chopping the body
with a machete,
and I saw that it was hard work.
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Thabo Jijana, whose work is informed by his rural upbringing in eastern South Africa, is a journalist by trade. He lives in Port Elizabeth, on the Eastern Cape Province.