Mine are the dark eyes
that will be passed on for centuries
telling of my sadness for a hundred generations.
This one act of domination will repercuss through the millenia
in lives untouched, but knowing.
Inheriting the shame
but not able to utter its name.
Look into the blackness
and condemn your blood to endless misery
if you dare.
(spoken by the slave) I believe in inherited memory. Sadness from our ancestors’ trauma being passed on in our genetic memory. This poem is about a slave girl who is raped by her master and then left to bear children who are rejected by society or who have to deny their roots in order to have a chance in life. Carrying a secret. It is about the early roots of colonial life in South Africa. Bastard children born between two cultures and carrying their “shame” for generations because of institutionalised racism. Neither accepted by their white family nor their black. Fitting in nowhere.