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Mongane Wally Serote

What's in this Black "Shit"

It is not the steaming little rot
In the toliet bucket,
It is the upheaval of the bowels
Bleeding and coming out through the mouth
And swallowed back,
Rolling in the mouth,
Feeling its taste and wondering what's next like it.

Now I'm talking about this:
"Shit" you hear an old woman say,
Right there, squeezed in her little match-box
With her fatness and gigantic life experience
Which makes her a child,
'Cause the next day she's right there,
Right there serving tea to the woman
Who's lying in bed at 10 a.m. sick with wealth,
Which she's prepared to give her life for
"Rather than you marry my son or daughter."

This "Shit can take the form of action:
My younger sister under the full weight of my father
And her face colliding with his steel hand,
"'Cause she spilled the sugar I work so hard for"
He says, not feeling satisfied with the damage his hands
Do to my yelling little sister.

I'm learning to pronounce this "Shit" well
Since the other day
At the pass office
When I went to get employment,
The officer there endorsed me to Middleburg,
So I said, hard and with all my might, "Shit!"
I felt a little better;
But what's good, is, I said it in his face,
A thing my father wouldn't dare do.
That's what's in this black "Shit."