My parents bled for me

I have found a perfect moment, a small kind of magic, a mirror, a perfect, sadly brilliant imperfection. My mother and father were in their late 20s when they began protesting the old South African government. They were among the many white South African students who took part, raised voices, bled, broke and got arrested for change. My parents have told me stories of bashed faces, broken jaws, dislocated this, fractured that.

Back then the fight was one on one.

Together the people took back the country.

Together they created this place for us.

My parents fought so that they could have daughters like me and my sister. They did not know it then and jokingly regret it now, but they fought for our education, our ease with conversation. For our birth certificate registration, for recognition, a place, a part, a piece of the world.

They fought for the sway in my hip,

the smack in my kiss,

the crack in the whip of my tongue

and won.

Now it is my turn.

Our turn

Your turn.

We have been waiting. Growing restless and somewhat distressed at this perpetual mess.

We have been waiting. Hope fading and claiming life after life after wife, woman, girl, child.

We have been waiting.

Now it is my turn.

Our turn.

Your turn to win.

September 30th marks the change that we have all been hesitant to make.

Hesitating because each of us has been trying to fix mistake after mistake after mistake, alone.

Each in their own home, afraid and unsure. Now we are together.

September 30th. We march.

I march as my parents once did, for my family to-be, for my girls to be free, for my boys to become real men, for their colour to blend in.

I march for ownership of a country that should belong to me.

I march for a freedom that was promised, shown and then taken away from me.

But most importantly I march because my parents bled for me.


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