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Papa by Charissa Cassels


I have never willingly gone to your grave

I don’t believe in it

And I know you didn’t either

But I still have this force within me

That draws me to you

We created a shrine for you

We light candles for you throughout the day

We acknowledge you whenever we see images of you

You are the force within me

I am drawn to you

Sometimes I get a whiff of the cologne you wore

Our last Christmas gift to you

Your favourite scent

The scent we smelt in your coffin

I sense you around me

I sleep in the room you took your last breath in

In the very same space, we saw you fade away in

I lay in that position every night

And I wait

I wait for you to come to me

Draw me closer to you

Draw me to you

Allow me to sense you more

I am waiting for you,


Charissa Cassels is an Honours graduate in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University. She is currently a writer and editor for The Disrupting Africa Encyclopedia.

Her work has previously been published in New Contrast, Liquid Imagination, Different Shades of The Feminine Mind and Best New African Poets 2018 Anthology. She won the essay competition hosted by the Ahmed Karhrada Foundation with her essay titled "Orange.Coloured.Erased."


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