Innocence - Avela Swana


It seems to me that we were all just a little too young for what was coming,

We didn’t know how to handle hate.

We grew up knowing the people around us for their names, the colour of their hair, their height, their laughters, maybe even the way they dressed and spoke;

And even the way in which they swung their arms when wandering nonchalantly down the pavement of this huge South Africa,

Of this huge home we’ve made for ourselves.

We never once thought of the colour of their skin because it had no meaning.

We never thought that one day, that would be the only defining factor of whether or not you would be successful,

Whether or not you’d be recognized;


A beacon of inspiration,

A tree of wisdom.

The hardest part was accepting we didn’t fall into the category of success.

We fell down, we were knocked off our feet;

The same feet that would walk kilometers

to get an education,

no matter what standard it was.

The same feet that bared the strain

of fetching water.

The same feet that tickled the tar

and gravel outside our “huts and villages”, making it smile.

Smile with the joy of children having fun,

Being who they want to be

And having the gratitude of each other;

An abundance of love and peace surround each and everyone one of them.

We never thought we would be here,

Not knowing whether tomorrow

Was a danger to even think about,

That the possibility you weren’t going to see your family again, became possible.