At the height of the night
When the sun sits highest in the sky
You can hear the cows and goats of the village bickering and howling
Everyone shuts their doors and switches off the fire
It is Dawn
Another family returns from the mountain tops with hung heads and covered faces
We all know what this means
It is followed by the daughters of the village being put in the kraal with the cows for the rest of the morning
This is how we have dealt with grief.
The women that miscarry bring shame to their fathers and husbands so they are placed with the animals
They are unnatural
This is not normal so this is how we grieve
It is dusk
There is whaling and crying coming from somebody's yard
Tonight when we hear the cows and goats bicker we will not switch off the big fire at the village centre
There will be an offering today.
Somebody gave birth to twins and one of them must be a sacrifice.
The tall man whose face nobody knows will take the sacrifice and leave
Sparing the village once more.
It has been 3 days and 6 village children and 9 goats have gone missing
The village people believe it is because Dikeledi took her twin children and ran
Ramasela! Where are our children?
What do you do in your lonely home in the middle of the woods?
Ramasela we want our children back
Ramasela, we have brought you all that we have
Please, give us our children back Ramasela.
We have a long history of feeding into our abuse
A blind trauma of repletion
Of sweeping everything under the rug until the rug seems too small
A thread of silence
There are children going missing,
And somebody knows who is taking them, but they are just keeping the fire in the village centre alive
All of your mother's children have died
It’s just you,
And your second brother’s six children.
The garden has died too,
So what will you take to your mother’s grave