Was it one of those army guys

who hit a bullseye?

It had to happen to one of us.

A piece of string – how could we not notice

the firmness of your belly

pushing out your gymslip?

You carried our greatest fear

like a bulging file,

hid it under sloppy-joes.


Mother drove the huge Volvo,

slipped so far down behind the wheel,

you could hardly see her shame.

Miscalculation set you back

to second set in maths.

Paper circles fell like faux-

confetti where you’d punched a hole.

No morning-after pill.


New-build gated complexes sprang up.

No legal termination for your protea

bud; you came to term.

Hard koppie jutting from the velt.

Camel Lights, vodka and adoption papers.

At recess Daddy stalked the dorms,

hoping to find the Master.


(First published in Under the Radar, Issue 18, winter 2016.)