Home is (not) a person by Linda Masilela

Linda Masilela | Oct 6th, 2020 | poetry | 1 Comment


Home is not a person

It’s a place.

And her name, at least for me, is Soshanguve

Rotting beneath the seams

She stinks of urine and after birth.

The quagmire festers

Collects beautiful scents

And leaves behind a fetid smell.

No one lives there

Only skeletons who’s bones are skewed by poverty

Malnourished ghosts

Anorexic corpses.

She breathes but her chest cavity is an urn of ashes

Her abdomen is ripe with wounds

She has been crawling on her belly

Because walking is impossible

If you’ve sold your legs for supper.

Informal settlements

Here, people live inside coffins

Shackled inside their shacks

Arrested development

Prisoners of circumstance.

So how can we call this our home

When death clings on our tongue

And our bodies are titanic of suffering

Yet we phoenixes

We unfurl our wings but gravity

Conspires to keep us down.

The stench of burning flesh fills the air.

That’s what you get when you build matchboxes and call them home

(People will burn)

We never stop dying.

Soshanguve is not a township

It’s a graveyard



The clouds glide

Chiseling raindrops from the sky.

We Raindance

A rainbow appears

The stars are filled with innocent giggles

From young children who’s smile is a first aid kit.

Grandmothers with scrolls folded on their skins

Some people call them wrinkles

But Soshanguve knows that Libraries are human beings who have seen the edge of the universe.

The dust never settles

Instead it rises beneath our skin

We are made of it(dust)

But when our bodies kiss the rain

We turn into mud.

We live here

Inside and outside Soshanguve

We are angels who missed curfews

So we exchanged our halos for a crown of thorns

Don’t expect us to rise on the third day

Because we’ve never carried crosses

Instead our bodies are wounded by all these tombstones

Erected on our spinal cords.

The children play outside

(Nix chagago)

The township provides warmth for its people.



Home is a person

And her name is Soshanguve

Poet Bio

Linda Masilela is a spoken word artist.

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1 thought on “Home is (not) a person by Linda Masilela”

  1. Incredibly captivating…Painfully shifts focus from the notion that home is where the heart is to home is where death is

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