A Scene From Another Day In The New South Africa (1) Poem by Gert Strydom

A Scene From Another Day In The New South Africa (1)

(in answer to Robin Camhee)

On a lovely Sunday morning you asked me to go with you
to do shopping at Carnival Mall in Brakpan,
our son Janneman and his wife Letitia went along
with their baby girl Raleigh who is only one years old
and their toddler daughter Genevieve who is lovely at three
but on that day God did straighten the way.

As Sundays with families go this one was for a winter day
absolutely lovely where we were together
and you bought some cleaning liquids for the charity
which you do manage, we browsed through the shops,
had a spicy meal as a family at the Mac Donald's

but when we wanted to leave the mall
at the exit with the sliding doors,
a young Nigerian man cut us off with a trolley,
another Nigerian man from behind walked right up to me

did drop a bottle of Johnny Walker Black and White whiskey
right at my feet where it broke and splashed over my shoes
and I noticed that he was carrying that bottle in its box upside down
while he stated that I am responsible for him breaking that bottle.

I calculated that the bottle of whiskey priced at about a thousand Rand,
calmly I stated that I did not even touch him,
that another person did cut us off
while the two of them boxed us in at the exit.

The angry black man was calculating and calm
in his words and actions,
asked Letitia if she was married to me
and she did not hear and answer him
before he got on his mobile phone and talked
in a foreign strange language
(I know the local languages and did not know
what he was saying but he was threatening)
and both Janneman and I knew that trouble was brewing.

You had the lively baby girl Raleigh, in your arms,
where giving sweeties to us and the small children,
Janneman took their groceries from their trolley
and I pushed our trolley with the cleaning materials
all the way to the car,
while the angry black man followed us
and was intent on stopping us.

The children's VW SUV was in for repairs
at the VW agent in Springs where we do live
and we travelled in a black VW Polo Cross
that belongs to Princess motors
which was brand new with only eight thousand
kilometres on the clock.

Janneman told everyone to get in the car immediately
as trouble was coming while the Nigerian
stood in front of the car trying to block it
while he was making some more calls on his mobile phone,
Letitia got in the car,
I helped Janneman to put our shopping bags in the boot,
did put Genevieve in the back of the car,
got into the back as Janneman was going to drive
but with the baby in your arms,
you were again giving sweeties to the small children.

Janneman started the car
and I pulled you with the baby in your arms
over Fiefie (Genevieve)onto the back seat
while we did pull away,
you were over me
and the Nigerian at the last moment jumped out of the way,
your open door did almost slam him
before you closed it.

There was only one exit from the parking aria of the Carnival Mall
with a small circle and a traffic light right after that
and I and Janneman reckoned that the Nigerians
where going to block that exit off,
you reckoned that Letitia and us were overreacting,
some of the yellow Honeycomb sweeties
were scattered all over the back seat
and we passed the Mac Donald's
on the outside of the mall.

At the exit of the parking area a golden Jeep was behind us
with some Nigerian men that filled it up
and as we neared the circle a white Quantum minibus taxi
did stop right over the circle to block us in,
its doors opened and eight black men jumped out.

I reckoned that the space on the wrong side of the road
was far too small to pass through with our car,
said to Janneman:"those people are right here."

I started to pray with open eyes,
reminded the Lord God that in the Bible
He promises to straighten the way.
Later on returning to that mall Janneman and I did notice
that a small concrete island run right up to the circle
but on that Sunday there was only a white line
and that black Polo Cross was running on low profile tyres.

Janneman went to the wrong side of the road,
crossed where a concrete line exists
without the car bumping or scraping,
we went right through a far too narrow gap,
the black men hurled stones at us
as we were speeding up to a red traffic light
but not one stone touched the car.

Some cars waited on the right side of the road
but not one car were oncoming as we crossed the red light,
driving on the wrong side of the road
right through a stop sign
into a residential area.

While Janneman acted as a rally-driver
Fiefie (Genevieve)became almost hysterical
but I soothed her that everything was still under control,
that the Lord God was straitening the way,
we passed several white mini bus taxis
and were afraid that the one that blocked us,
was communicating with them
but they did not react in any way to us.

We decided to take the toll road that runs
from Brakpan past Springs to Secunda
and as we stopped to pay
a white Audi stopped at another entrance
right next to us.

The VW Polo Cross is super and turbo charged
and we speeded away onto the freeway
but where we noticed the golden V8 Jeep catching up on us,
did realise that it was following us
and again I did pray while we speeded on.

The white Audi was much quicker
and I assured Janneman
that a white man was driving it,
while he changed lanes
and drove behind another car
for it to be able to pass.

There was at this time three black hatch back cars
from different manufacturers (including ours)on the freeway
and we took an exit at Springs
while the golden Jeep was still away in the distance,
it did mistake us with another car
and at great speed followed it.

Janneman did call Princess motors
to swap that black VW Polo Cross
for another car,
as we were scared
that another hijack attempt would happen
and only supernatural Godly intervention
saved us on that Sunday.

[Reference:"Scenes from another day" by Robin Camhee.]

© Gert Strydom

Thursday, August 2, 2018
Topic(s) of this poem: life and death
Haidee Majola 03 August 2018

God is amazing. Blessed be His Name.

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Gert Strydom

Gert Strydom

Johannesburg, South Africa
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