whose name was given as a sign of bigger things,
played with fire.

Did you ever wonder
how life would have been
if you’d run away, stayed hidden?

Instead you enlarged, puffed yourself up
with pride and pregnancy
and fiercely pushed out a usurper.

Oh, and how that boy doted on you.
The best, the best, only the best for you.
For you that boy would cut out his own heart.

And so,
when you unceremoniously passed,
your grief-stricken runt
nearly slaughtered the nation he’d formed.

For you.



This is a Mother’s Day poem, of sorts.
Nandi was the mother of Shaka kaSenzangakhona, a Zulu monarch who reigned from about 1816 – 1828.