POEM: Let Us Not Forget

When we confront the creeping, crippling feeling
– our momentum we may be losing,
despite our trauma and our bruising.
When it lingers
and turns our fists into fingers.
Let us not despair,
let us not forget.

We hold within us a library of memories –
Of the ones we carried
and the ones we buried.
Of the people power once in our hands
that now seems to slip through our fingers
like desert sands.
Of the will of a few weeks ago,
before brutality and fatigue,
a man murdered by a bloodthirsty pig,
started eating into our morale.

We must let these memories live.

Let the Spirit of the Soweto Uprising live in us.
Let the defiance of those youth
amplify our voices
and animate our limbs.
As we speak, as we act.

As we fight for free education,
for a future unshackled from historical debt,
let us not forget, let us not forget.

Let the massacred miners at Marikana
feed our revolutionary rage.
Let us look at those portraits, our beloved leader
– father at family meetings, lovable saviour –
and let us see the picture of impunity.
Let us allow justice to open our eyes,
so that we may truly internalize
that the president is a murderous capitalist in disguise.

As we take the fight to the bourgeois State,
for Azania’s future and its fate,
let us not forget.

Let us not forget
how disunity derailed us.
And factionalism paralysed us.
Let the contradictions always floating above us
find expression in our voices.

There are lessons to be learnt.
Let us not forget.

Let the memory of Mthokozisi
march with us as we move forward.
Let it fly above our masses, like a watchful bird.
Let the theft of his life, the execution we viewed,
de-fang those rabid vipers in blue.

Let us commit, let us declare
– students will not fall,
beneath beatings and bullets in waves.
And we refuse to fill one more grave.

When we meet the police in the streets,
let us not forget, let us not forget.

For even in our bleakest hour,
the memories that breathe beneath our skins,
will stoke the fires of rebellion that rage within.

Because remembering is revolutionary.
To know what the world once was,
how radically different it was.
To imagine what it can be.
To see it free.
And just.
And beautiful.

So comrades, let us not yield.
Let us not surrender.
Let us not forget.

Raees Noorbhai is a student, activist and writer. He is currently the Chairperson of the Wits Student Forum and a member of the Wits Coalition for Free Education.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Daily Vox’s editorial policy.

Featured image via Twitter by Leah Maree Wilson