Fado menor

(No. 3 in the cycle Fados de Corona)

When young we were to wed
felt we our purses instead
Now for a family ripe,
Nothing left, not even tripe.

How many nights we learned,
to pass our exams we yearned.
Studious to earn our degrees
for careers ended with a sneeze.

Love dare not touch our lips
Sterile hands avoid love’s trips
Forgotten the time of our youth
Forgotten our faith in the truth.

No longer young, no longer wed
No longer housed, no longer fed
From family and friends estranged
All at the mercy of the few and deranged.

•  See Part 2 here

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is author of Unbecoming American: A War Memoir and also Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..