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Martha’s Tavern

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Poetry International is currently featuring poets from Bulawayo. The poem, Martha’s Tavern, is by Lilian Dube, described by Poetry International as ” a young poet of mixed race: her father is Ndebele and her mother is Russian. She is an upper-sixth student at Speciss College. A recipient of the Joshua Nkomo scholarship, she has also won a scholarship to do her tertiary education in the United States of America.”

Martha’s Tavern,
The braai is a colourful affair
Someone’s burning the beef
Is being beat up
By his wife
Jeered on by his cronies
Listening to the 7th remix
Of DJ so&so
Converse soles upon
The polished dance floor
Sweaty boys!

Naked in her skirt
Smelling out prey
Pretty nose . . .
Infusions of warm smoke
Tobacco . . .
. . . marijuana?
The cobbler is on his 8th
And enjoying it
Eyelids of a gecko
Wondering why
Everybody has
Two replicas in tow
& he can even feel
His beard grow –
Even Deliwe by the bar
Doesn’t look like
His brother’s daughter anymore.

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