“South Africa”

This is not a political poem.
I am tired of politics,
it makes me sick.

This is not a poem about race
or sex or gender
or feminism, sexism
or any other ism
that over-aware modern minds
care to coin:
they drain the life from me.

This is a poem for the township boy
who will never leave
and the black businesswoman
who has built an empire,
speaking truth to power,
and the tenderpreneur who
enriches himself and no-one else.

This is a poem for he
who calls himself white,
male, heterosexual,
fully abled and English
and for the person who
doesn’t know why
privilege matters at all.

All are welcome here,
there is place for all
and a word for each;
the grandmother cooking samp
in a dark and damp shack
and the orphan boy who
must care for his siblings
after AIDS stole his parents
and the Cape Town model
who knows nothing of the
grandmother or the orphan.

This is not a poem for reconciliation,
mediation, arbitration or meditation.
This is not a poem about power
or those who perpetuate it,
perpetrating crimes and
perfecting poverty.
There is place for them too,
and a word each.

All are welcome in this poem,
though they need not come in,
for it is just a poem and
a whole world is out there
full of people who are
sometimes good,
sometimes evil,
sometimes understanding,
sometimes ignorant,
sometimes reasonable,
sometimes defensive,
yet always people.

Like the dog who will die
on a dusty road in a township
not far from here,
this poem just is.
It matters not that it will
be gone by Sunday,
for through the cruelty
and senseless chaos,
there is still life.
There is still hope.

This is a poem for
those who know it
and yet go on out the yard,
stumbling on mangey legs,
stuttering through brief life,
if only to experience love
for just a moment
before they are gone,
lost and forgotten
in a world of
far too many words.

One thought on ““South Africa”

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