Tallied bodies by Patience Ntaoleng Labane

Patience Ntaoleng Labane | Feb 3rd, 2022 | poetry | No Comments


We are who we are
Some siblings are loved more
Others are given what is left
We cannot dictate how our parents love us
We can only accept that it is love if not a burden to be loved by them

They too are unsure of how to navigate this ‘love thing’
They search for it through religion
Sometimes they access it through controlled temper and tight fists
They tell themselves,
“I have to love him, he is mine”
They don’t realise that their love feels like an obligation

When you have more than five sons, it’s okay to love one a little less
Too much love exercised every day for each son is work for a parent
You love that one a little less… until they disappear into themselves
And then you say,
“I did my best, I wish he was more like his brothers”

With parents, it’s never their fault
You have to understand that they are trying their best to love you better than they were loved
Love in most homes is work
A chore
A responsibility

Poet Bio

Ntaoleng Patience Labane is a Slam poet, performer and visual artist from the Free State. She’s a 3 time slam champion, author of Poetry Diary of a Feeling Soul, podcast host and founder of Her Thoughts on Spotify, Oncast and Radio public.

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