March 13, 2008

Do you know me? _ Jorge Rebelo

Filed under: poetry — newritings @ 11:40 pm

(Granny Martha, in Hulene Township)

Do you know me? Do you know I’m here?
Have you ever noticed me? Perhaps not?
I am the woman at the roadside
beckoning you to buy
as you walk by.

At every break of day
I leave my tumbledown
for the long trudge
– a heavy bundle on my head –
I find a pitch
dump my bundle
stretch out a cloth
and line up one by one the hillocks
of onions, potatoes, garlic and beans.
Then I settle down
for the long and patient wait.

How much anguish in this wait!
Thirteen mouths to feed
(thirteen!) fugitives from the war
waiting at home, anxious and famished.
When I don’t sell there is hunger
and despair.

Sometimes I think about revolt:
living this marginal existence
alongside luxury and opulence
like a provocation…

But for me
storms have lost their charm
even the storms supposed to purify,
to scheme and shape fate.

So I carry on resignedly –
to the relief of you sirs.

This is my life.
I told it in the hope
that my presence
as you walk by
will challenge you


  1. […] The poems included in this edition are: Do you know me?, Once Upon a Time (1995), A Poem still to be written (1975), Brother from the West (1972), We are […]

    Pingback by More poems of resistance from Mozambique « newritings — March 15, 2008 @ 12:11 am | Reply

  2. IT is a beautiful poem… I am really impressed, really its a lovely poem.

    Comment by Shipra — November 2, 2009 @ 4:14 am | Reply

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