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About this poet

Gabeba Baderoon is the author of A hundred silences (Kwela/Snailpress, 2006); The Museum of Ordinary Life (DaimlerChrysler, 2005); and The Dream in the Next Body (Kwela/Snailpress, 2005). Her honors include the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship. She works at Pennsylvania State University and lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and Pennsylvania.

Old Photographs

Gabeba Baderoon

On my desk is a photograph of you
taken by the woman who loved you then.

In some photos her shadow falls
in the foreground. In this one, 
her body is not that far from yours.

Did you hold your head that way
because she loved it?

She is not invisible, not
my enemy, 
nor even the past. 
I think
I love the things she loved.

Of all your old photographs, I wanted
this one for its becoming. I think
you were starting
to turn your head a little, 
your eyes looking slightly to the side.

Was this the beginning of leaving?

From So Much Things To Say: 100 Calabash Poets. Copyright © 2010 by Gabeba Baderoon. Used with permisson of Calabash International Literary Trust and the author.

From So Much Things To Say: 100 Calabash Poets. Copyright © 2010 by Gabeba Baderoon. Used with permisson of Calabash International Literary Trust and the author.

Gabeba Baderoon

Gabeba Baderoon is the author of A hundred silences (Kwela/Snailpress, 2006); The Museum of Ordinary Life (DaimlerChrysler, 2005); and The Dream in the Next Body (Kwela/Snailpress, 2005).