After the peace and after the war he was all that was left of the town
the remaining outline of a map to a place that never existed.
They were burning into statues from across the street,
hiding into their faces, brimming into captivity the foul odour
of primrose and blood left in early morning ceremonial sheets.
The red ruby soil of Khubetsoana under their feet reacting
to an ancient prophecy, long forgotten.
The flannel lapel perpetually on his hip part of a gold panner leather jacket eaten away by the sun, brindled into a dying bouquet and folding away in his lap.
My mother came back with the same story every time she was from the city. He stands all day on a roadside waving into non-existence.
The whole village’s mercury is mined under his tongue.
The man was honest and the wife married a second time.