14 March 2008


In the forcing jar on the window sill, she begins
to swell. She is her own worst enemy. She knows.
But it was so cold wintering over in the cellar,
that now she has allowed herself to be warm.
She chose – though she had not thought the sun
would be this intimate. There it is again,
its gold caress. It dazzles her. It wines and dines.
It shows her all the things she could be like
and she finds no will to refuse. Her roots reach out,
thirsty for soil. It is impossible to stop them.
Inside herself a question begins to turn.
It is not heavy now, but she cannot avoid it much longer.
If this is not what she was born to do, then what else is there?
It will be the end of her. She knows.

This was my first published poem. It was shortlisted in the Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition 2004.


  1. Found your blog via normblog, and am glad I did - this poem is really something special, thank you so much for sharing! I absolutely love how nearly every detail elaborates on "She is her own worst enemy," emphasis on "she."

    Will put this poem on Stumbleupon, hopefully that'll get it a few more readers.

  2. Thanks Ashok! I'm glad you liked the poem and doublethanks for the promotional boost. I have found a lot of good things (blogs, posts, people) through normblog too... He's really amazing, that Norm.

  3. Hey,
    My comment doesn't seem so interesting now when due to a tech fault I need to post it again :) But here it goes just the same.
    When you say 'It is not heavy now, but she cannot avoid it much longer'; do you mean heavy as in opression from soil? ... or maybe you're not referring to a flower or seed at all...
    Anyway, it's not so much comment as it is a question...


  4. Hi A,
    Well, the "it" that is not heavy is the question, from the previous line.
    But the question is also a seed, the seed of the flower she, the hyacinth, is growing.
    But it is heavy in the sense of oppressive and foreboding, too.

    Hope this helps.