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Two Toddlers In The Municipal Park - Poem by Gert Strydom

(in answer to Elisabeth Eybers)

Naked next to each other
two black toddlers are left

with a wormed small maleness
and a exposed female groove
and with wiggling legs they walk on

to where the canal of a dilapidated stream meanders
and where at time ducks or swans may have been,
there now are only empty concrete furrows,

as if a dark power holds the park, the town, the country,
the whole continent in its gigantic claws
and everything is declining,
is being broken down into pieces on a gigantic rubbish pile

and they look at a blue headed lizard
that lies and baking in the sun
and stare inquisitive at a few rock-lizards
that crawl one after the other from their trenches,
like soldiers with coordinated movements

and when a snake appears suddenly,
they look at it in wonder
when it strikes at both the lizards
before it devours them

and she - the small girl- grabs tightly onto the boy's hand
to draw him still nearer to the vermin
that perceives them both and rocks hissing back
and looks at the two with deadly seriousness
and with desperate power the boy jerks her back,
away from the thing that he perceives as danger

before they both burst out in tears
and run back with wiggling legs
to the shadow of a tree
where mom and dad lies stretched out on a blanket
next to two empty brandy bottles
that gleams in the bright sunlight

and beyond the stonewall of the park
an expensive German car passes,
are followed by two pickup trucks
and a horde of minibus taxis
are parked next to the municipal park,
with music blaring deafening
and a group of teenagers climb out of one

and he wants to walk into that direction
as a member of the collective wildness
but she is caught by his strange small snake
that rocks to and fro with each step that he takes

and when the teenagers become aware of the children
it appears as if they have far too much interest in them
and maybe it's the last day of danger,
or maybe some captured childhood days

and they may be molested
somewhere next to the road,
be disfigured, cut up,
for witchdoctor medicinal use
and thrown out of a taxi-buss

or it may only be amusing
to see two stark naked children.

The snake returns well-fed
to the hole from where it comes,
and the two toddlers are astonished
by one of the teenagers
who hides beyond a mask.


[Reference: "Twee kleuters in die vondelpark" (Two children in the wander park) by Elisabeth Eybers.]


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