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from the November 2021 issue

scratch cards

scratch cards

Poet Shirmoney Rhode uses lotto cards as a powerful metaphor for parenthood in this poem.

some children
are like lotto scratch cards
to their parents
they buy tickets
for next to nothing
and they place all their
hopes and dreams
on that one ticket
then they score its surface
with a coin
or a small stone
or anything that will
make the silver come off easily
and if it doesn’t reveal
the numbers or symbols
that will translate into
a posh house or car
then that ticket is bad luck
a waste of money
and it ends up in
a denim back pocket
in the washing machine
and the ticket emerges
in bits and pieces
and that which has no use
will be discarded

scratch cards” © Shirmoney Rhode. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2021 by Andre Trantraal. All rights reserved.

scratch cards

sommige kinnes
is soes lotto scratch cards
vi hulle ouers
hulle koep die kaartjies
vi next-to-nothing
en plaas al hulle
hopes en dreams
in daai een kaartjie
dan krap hulle dit oep
met 'n coin
of klip
of enige iets wattie
silver layer maklik gaan af kry
en assitie die
nommers of symbols
reflect wat vi hulle
'n duur huis of kar kan afford nie
is die kaartjie
bad luck
'n waste of money
en beland dit
in die gatkant
van 'n jean
innie wasmasjien
en die kaartjie kom
in stukkies en bietjies uit
en as djy nie gebruik kan wordtie
behoort djy an niemand mee nie

scratch cards” © Shirmoney Rhode. All rights reserved.

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