Poetry, Tale Africa

This Truth but no Further

 

By Lerato Mensah-Aborampah, Lesotho, the Mountain Kingdom

The truth is I am scared.

I am really scared.

But I will not tell you that.

I will tell you only of how scary the things I fear are.

I will speak about them as vaguely as I can.

I will not personalise them too much.

Because when I speak truthfully,

I am most likely to start crying,

My voice will most likely start trembling,

I will most likely choke on the naked, uncensored truth.

There is a limit to how much I am willing to tell you.

There is a boundary that I have erected that encloses a vulnerability in me that you should not witness.

The truth is I would love to tell you things,

To pour myself out without the fear of being seen at my emptiest,

The truth is sometimes I want to explain what it is I feel when I feel,

Why it is I smile when I smile

What it is I cry for when I cry

Why it is I judge when I judge

But I will not tell you.

The truth is sometimes I will tell you the closest thing to the thing I really want to say,

But you are most unlikely to hear the thing itself.

The truth is I have grown up in a society that is either content with mirages, facades and surface

Or is oblivious to the prospect of the contrary.

A society that is content with the images instead of the objects they mirror.

A society that is afraid of openness, honesty, reality and truth.

Is it the truth that it is in my nature to hide the true nature of things

Or is true that this is a culture that I have absorbed,

And I can always begin a journey out of it if I please?

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