For a mother whose son was murdered

By Gershwin Wanneburg

i will never be fine again
how do i answer that question
how are you

grief is now the punctuation of my life
grief is my new name

here is a strophe for every year of his life a strophe for the bullet that passed through his head

on sunday 13 march 2016 around 12:00-13:00 on his way back from work my son was fatally shot
he was not a victim to a robbery
his wallet and various valuables were still with him when the police arrived at the scene
i pointed out the suspects to the police but they were never questioned

i am crying out for the truth in order to have peace in my heart i will never rest until the suspects are
exposed to this tragic moment of my beloved son that i will never see again

let me tell you

is a long time

now for his life

he was born in may it was autumn
the same season he died
i remember the day
i remember my body after he rushed out of it into the world
the last time he was truly mine

i remember his first cry
his first footsteps
his first love

the way he hungrily finished a plate of food
the way he loved music
and danced to it


he loved his friends

such a beautiful boy
in fact he was perfect

on mother’s day and father’s day he went around the neighbourhood, dragging his siblings with him
he took his rosary with him everywhere he went

i was born again when he died
with no language
i had to learn a new tongue

this is the end of the world for me

the earth is flat
i function by faith and medication

grief is my story
grief is my song

he is gone
i loved him i loved him I loved him I love him

such a small word
so timid against the horrors of the world

there is no immunity against this
no vaccine
no mask
nothing can hurt me now
the worst has already happened

what am i if not a mother to my son
how do i explain to myself
the violence that took him from me

how do i describe
without him

m e

with out


how am i
without him

am i dead
or am i alive

he was not a martyr he was a saint
My Angelo

here is a strophe for all the time without him
here is a strophe for the years his death went unprosecuted
for the time his murderers enjoyed free breath
sons to their mothers, fathers to their children

“This poem means a great deal to me…It’s about a friend…and I have used every opportunity to tell this heartbreaking story.” Read Gershwin Wanneburg’s account of his friend’s mother’s search for answers, justice, and closure.

Gershwin Wanneburg is a South African writer and editor, whose career credentials include Reuters news agency and the African Development Bank. See more of his work on his website, his blog purpletolavender, and on Instagram at gershwinwanneburg.

Categories: featured, poetry

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s