Margaret Alice

(The Crystal Age / Pretoria - South Africa)

Melodramatic Announcement & Fury of a Valkyrie


Melodramatic Announcement

Sent faxes to apologise for the inconvenience
caused by the postponement plans – the decision
is out of our hands – called eight friendly speakers
to explain personally and enjoyed it so much;

Spinning them a tale of processes and logistics
that failed; of lamentation, sackcloth and ashes
strewn on our heads; and they are so understanding,
with beautiful, resonant voices;

Laughing as they enjoy the melodramatic
announcement, not a negative person amongst
them, people behaving like angels, one voice
even declaring his willingness

To change other engagements once a new date
is set – these speakers are sent from heaven
deserving of medals for their long-suffering!


Fury Of A Valkyrie

The Foreign Languages Section is
under the excellent guidance and expertise
of June and Hanlie in the driving seat
making Schumi look like an amateur
the way they steer this vehicle with
amazing speed, clearing each turn,
hopping over every obstacle as if
they were born to it – whereas I am
in the back seat, head barely visible
under the avalanche of documents
eyes down, frantically jumping around
playing the clown, trying to translate
with my brain in overdrive – tomorrow
I’ll slink into the building, leopard-crawling
to my office, eyes and ears drooping,
while Hanlie will waltz in, as fresh as a
breeze, and June will march in like a
an army sergeant-major, and the
boss of the FLEA’s – ‘Foreign Languages
English and Afrikaans’ that is, Karen,
will arrive with the fury of a Valkyrie
and launch another vehicle of the
Language Service with dexterous speed
pulling away with screeching tyres,
while Hermien will arrive sedately,
with phlegmatic ease sailing into the
day, Ina will arrive quietly and jump
into the fray without waiting for
inspiration, the way that I have to;
the Chief Director will arrive with
aplomb, shout for a meeting
demand explanations, then run away
Mr Mohapi will fly into his office
desperately searching his e-mails
for lost documents, while Edward
will stomp in shouting the name
of each colleague as he makes his way
to his office, while Doctor Jokweni
will debate whether life can go on
after the respite of the grave –
in this way the onerous Vehicle
that is Us, the Language Service,
will get underway…

Submitted: Thursday, September 20, 2007
Edited: Sunday, April 10, 2011

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