Life indeed is a hustle,
a weary and teary culture,
marshaled by silver and gold,
watered by tears and sweat,
and fortified by pangs of hunger,
of the young and old,
and of the desire of a livelihood.
I brave the ferocious storms,
amidst raving wheels,
and raging crowds,
in the heat and heart of city beehives
selling not the gospel,
but the ‘pleasures’ of life and of death,
sweets, cigars, and magwinya
Sometimes I stand in front of a beauty parlour,
with a hair clipper in my back pocket,
cursing the bald and whistling to the hippies,
ready to be a biblical Delilah,
and profit from her transgression.
After all, beauty is always in demand,
and one should be ready to be a liar,
and promise the best transformation.
Sometimes I deny myself sleep,
‘baby-sitting’ the young and the elderly,
massaging through wrinkled and resigned
contours of reality,
of both white and black,
of the rich and corrupt,
and of the unknown,
all in the name of hustling.
Sometimes, I try this or that,
but the day decides to reward someone else,
every day, I begin my day with a timid peep,
through the keyhole,
unknowing what the day can hold for me,
and everything I leave in the hands,
of the one who created me and you,
the one who said: it is through sweat,
we all have to survive.
Also by this poet:
Portia Ndhlovu is a graduate from the University of Zimbabwe. She majored in English and German languages. She is a Zimbabwean national currently based in South Africa who is passionate about Zimbabwean poetry, social realism, and issues affecting children. Portia has co-authored an academic article titled The Cases of missing fathers in Zimbabwe’s The Closure DNA show: reflecting on loose ends (ACADEMIA LETTERS, 2021).