{Poem} We Have Lost

I started writing this at the peak of the third wave in 2021, when everyday brought with it the name of someone no longer with us.

We have lost

My mother writes the names
of everyone who’s passed
on since last year

These times are the strangest
to now; lists to aid mourning
more deaths than grocery trips

Our friends are losing their parents
our parents are losing their friends
we are losing our friends

What to say to make it less?
soundless nothing words
sepulchre for a throat

There is no getting used to grief
in compound form loss
upon loss without pause

But here we are. What to pray for?
Can you still? Breathe in a time of fettered air
enough to write out our lists of love

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I am a writer and photographer (look up my work on www.shootcake.com) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. My writing accolades include winning the 2014 Writivism Short Story Prize and the 2020 Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for my debut collection, Zikr.

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