Childhood Home? by Charl Landsberg

Charl Landsberg | November 3rd, 2017 | poetry | No Comments


No. Plants don’t grow where there isn’t good soil.
I was a weed over which abusive hands would toil.
How do I write about a place that doesn’t exist?
When home was something I invented when childhood ended;
finding meaning in new hearths where hearts once mended-
struggling through the hours and days of survive and persist.
I wasn’t welcome where I lived as a child.
There was no room for queerness that grew wild.
He couldn’t quite trim me down with his fist,
or prune me into respectable shape with his tongue.
Me: wrapped like a towel and out-wrung,
my sap: no poultice to calm him when he’s pissed.
I didn’t grow roots till the memory of him died,
and his venom could no longer poison and spoil,
and the earth beneath my feet solidified.
No. Plants don’t grow where there isn’t good soil.

Poet Bio

Charl Landsberg is a South African poet, musician, and artist whose work often focuses on social issues including LBGTQIA+ work, feminism, and anti-racism/anti-colonialism. Their work often involves fantasy and science fiction, and often more serious issues talking about their surviving childhood abuse, substance abuse, and recovery.

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