For Unknown 16/06/76
(after a visit to the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto, June 16, 2005)

a frozen face
on a white wall.

open mouth
rigid arms

your eyes
are the eyes of your comrades

with weighted shoulders

and loud voices
muted by the captured moment.

but I hear it.
decibels of scaled anger
your suffering erupt,

holding out its arms to me.

am I worthy of embrace?

1976- not even a seeded thought
in the mind of a girl I call mother.

you are background
context to your time
framing the “struggle”
painting it with your essence
as bullets tattoo your fate.

A bricked acknowledgement
that you were felled on that day
now bedded on gravel
bordered by the crunching tourist tiptoes
echoing now-impotent jackboots

the granite speaks

of more bodies,
not nobodies
but somebodies
with names
and for others without

there is a brick
in a yard
on the gravel.