How my grandfather drowned his dreams by Siphiwe Hlongwane

Siphiwe Hlongwane | January 10th, 2021 | poetry | No Comments


My grandfather drowns his dreams inside
A tin full of sorghum beer

He is ashamed and curses them
For selling him falls hope

His tired soft leather like black skin is
A history book cover

Born into a generation that was
Forbidden to breathe without permission

He lives to regret a life he never lived
On his terms

A man who will always be a boy for
He does not remember growing up

He still takes off his hat when he tells
Us stories about his masters as if they’re standing right in front of him

He smokes his tobacco in silence, gazing at distant mountains, smoke
Vanishing into thin air, imitating his life – his heartbeat counting the hours backwards for another chance

Remembering the days he prays to

Sorghum beer tin in his trembling hands, he drowns
His dreams before falling asleep on his
Wooden bench.

It’s hard for a man to kill his dreams, unless he dies with them

So this morning he didn’t wake up, he’s finally at peace, a man who lived for his last breath.

Poet Bio

Siphiwe Hlongwane is a lover of the written word. Some of his poems have appeared on Praxis Magazine Online. He is from KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg. He writes from Johannesburg.

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