Upon seeing your bouquet, the teacher says
‘It is rare for a man to be this delicate’,
as if the class is a barometer for softness.
You name today’s creation ‘Serendipity’
and we walk home holding a glass bowl
with dahlias, hydrangeas, button poms, roses,
ruscus, silver dollar eucalyptus, more roses.
You are talented. I know this. The florist -teacher
knows it too. but why is this new, why is it news?
The lion, with its glorious mane, is roaring
and the peacock dances about, bright &
beautiful. I see you make and unmake
each week; break, tie and rearrange
in the pursuit of something beautiful
and I want to give you new eyes, mine
perhaps so you can stop and see me wilt
before you. I, your loyal lioness, peafowl,
moth to your butterfly. I have wings too.
Perhaps someday I will fly away from you.
Nkateko Masinga is a South African poet and 2019 Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 and her work has received support from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and the Swiss Arts Council. Nkateko is an interviewer at Africa In Dialogue, an online interview magazine that archives creative and critical insights with Africa’s leading storytellers, as well as the founder and managing director of NSUKU Publishing Consultancy. She is the author of a digital chapbook titled THE HEART IS A CAGED ANIMAL, published by Praxis Magazine. Her latest work has been selected by the African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2020 New Generation African Poets chapbook box set.