an obituary in verse
I would have sent flowers, Mugabe, for you broke
the white chains of Cecil Rhodes’ Rhodesia. but you
moved into your jailors’ quarters, painted the white
chains black, & made Zimbabwe, Bob’s Mugabesia.
I would have sent flowers, Mugabe, but the gardens
of Matabeleland no longer sprout lilies and roses.
their earth is still gorged with the blood of the twenty
thousand, still choked with the bones and the bones
and the bones of sleeveless hands. I would have sent
flowers, Mugabe, for the moving socialist rhetoric of
your freedom-fighting years. but neither the Marxist
manifesto, nor your love for the people, survived the
incense of independence, the drunkenness of power.
still, I would have sent flowers, Bob Mugabe, but your
guard of honour – the short- & long-sleeved ghosts of
Gukurahundi – have no hands to hold your garlands