Mosotho Boy


His face in my lens; it
could have been
his eyes; I’m seen and
taken in, to
smouldering pools of
mountain night, that
with a glance, cast me
askance, saying
What are you doing here?

He’s ten or could have been
a Mosotho boy,
of any age, whose
stage is set long before,
by lore of birth, which
makes me take
his glance to heart, and say
What are you looking for?

I can’t explain
my captured sense, the
thoughts evoked;
Our stories so diverse, a
different universe,
yet in him I
find someone
who touches me and says
What are you searching for?

So much he has to bring
to what he knows
his role must be up here, no
doubting thought,
he’ll be a man
just as he ought,
as happens in this place;
But in his case,
an enigmatic face says,
I want more than this.

Then he smiles,
white light explodes,
his face aglow, and
then I know
we’re no strangers
standing here
the boy and me in unity, our
communal humanity
enabling us to say,
What do you want from me?

I want, I think, his innocence,
to live by clan and custom
held firm at home, a boy
who roams the hills
a life modernity steals, from
the likes of me;
He wants, he thinks, my freedom,
my right to choose, to lose
his many ties; my
access to the roads, that
lead from here;
And so we search
each other’s worlds,
the other’s mind, and
knowing what it is that
we shall find, say,
We need each other.

About chrisahrends

For me, writing is a healing art aimed at healing me - and if in any way it resonates with you - that would be wonderful. I live in Cape Town, South Africa; work in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and am married to Jacqui Macqueen Ahrends.
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