Anywhere but here by Tshepi Makhatha

Tshepi Makhatha | June 13th, 2018 | poetry | 1 Comment

Poet Bio

The day he left there was no celebration
no fanfare, no farewell
only a suitcase stuffed with wrinkled clothes
and his hope
for the nightmare to be over

There were no paper plates at his non-party,
no plastic forks or polystyrene cups
or those colourful serviettes on the side.
There were no slaughtered sheep or cows
or even chakalaka and pap
only an empty bed where a father should lie

The day he left there were no weeping gogos
or aunties in doeks slaving away on a twin hotplate.
There were no elders or uncles circled around
shaded corners
complaining about the good old days
while sharing in imbamba

There were no young boys playing two-paal
on dirt roads or
young girls shouting one two three elle-elle with a skipping rope
only the high-pitched cry of a muted goodbye
lingered about

The day my father left there was no celebration
no fanfare, no farewell
only a picture frame bordering a child’s imagination
because my father’s destination was anywhere but here

Poet Bio

Retshepisitswe ‘Tshepi’ Makhatha was born in Umtata, Eastern Cape. He matriculated from St. Peter’s College in 2009 and graduated from Rhodes University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature and Psychology. He currently lives in Johannesburg and has been published in Poetry Potion’s 10th print edition titled “This Woman Is… He has also had his poems published on Praxis Magazine online and The Kalahari Review. You can follow him on medium at or on twitter @TshepiMakhatha

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1 thought on “Anywhere but here by Tshepi Makhatha”

  1. Such a beautiful poem. I could feel the pain, despair and relief all packed into this piece of art.

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