I am not rebel nor pioneer,
I have not sliced through the serpent’s belly
and climbed out
with its heart still beating
at the tip of my penknife.

I will not cross oceans for you
nor capture the moon
in exchange for your heart.

I am nothing you can display proudly
in the palm of your hand,
while all your friends and family
coo at me in admiration.

I am none of your hopes come true.
I have left that for mine.

I am only here to walk beside you for a time,
traveller to traveller,
seeking a place to lay down our heads each night
killing off predators when the other has let her guard down
in a land full of hospitable strangers,
shifty shadows,
dutiless double-agents.

I am your work,
you are mine.
Flourish as you see fit.

But whether you rest in my shade
or you flounder beneath it,
I will walk beside you.

All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2022 Tebogo Ndlovu


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