How do you count 19 girl children murdered?

How do you imagine their broken bodies

folded under beds

left on the side of the road

Bled out



And tossed?

Tiny bones broken

Hairs pulled out of heads

Milk teeth in blue mouths.

Hands that should have held these children

shook them, took them, bled them, debreathed them.

How do you count to 19?

19 would be the number of goodnight kisses

19 would be the number of times a best song was sung

19 would be the number of the safest house

19 would be a birthday.

19 is not the right number for murdered girl children in the Western Cape since January 2017