Margaret Alice Second

(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Warmth and Life [REVISED]


When small I loved my big brothers – that’s all,
loved no-one else, too unhappy in presence of the
three Parents together or taking them separately –
mom chaotically washing clothes, making me feel
anxious, grandma busy and scolding, dad shouting
and swearing, calling us naughty

My role model brothers showed me books to read,
with Ian I had a Nasturtium growing in a pot, vied
with him for the most accidents, eldest Christo busy,
fixing cars, digging the garden, building walls and
allowing me to help; Ian teaching me climb trees
and onto the roof without a ladder

My refuge their room, I read all their books; childish
adulation held for them as a child remained alive in
my heart; when my Big Brother showed me how to
write poetry my life was complete, indeed he was
my superhero; I adore those teaching new things,
the thrill still wonderful, same exhilarating joy

No need give up hero-worship in fear of feet of clay
younger siblings can keep older ones on a pedestal,
give unconditional love as their simple existence is
good enough, just like the sun’s presence is perfect
in itself and we do not expect anything else than
warmth and life


[ORIGINAL: ]

I loved my big brothers when I was small, that’s all,
I did not love anyone else, feeling too unhappy in the
presence of the three grown-ups together and taking
them separately – mom chaotically washing clothes
making me feel anxious, grandma busy and scolding,
dad shouting and swearing and calling us naughty

My big brothers were role models showing me which
books to read, Ian and I each had a Nasturtium growing
in a pot and I vied with him for the most accidents, the
eldest Christo was always busy, fixing cars, digging in
the garden, allowing me to help, building walls and Ian
showed me how to climb trees and onto the roof without

Using a ladder, their room was my refuge where I played
and read all their books; the childish adulation I felt for my
brothers as a child remained alive in my heart; when my
Big Brother showed me how to write poetry, my life was
complete, he became my superhero indeed, I adore those
who teach me new things, wonderful to still feel the thrill

The same exhilarating joy, no need to give up my hero-
worship for fear of feet of clay because younger siblings
can keep older ones on a pedestal, give unconditional love
as their simple existence is good enough, just like the sun’s
presence is perfect in itself and we do not expect anything
else than warmth and life

20 JUNE 2013

Submitted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Edited: Friday, June 21, 2013

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20 July 2013

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