Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 28,459 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Latter Day South Africa - Poem by Gert Strydom

The face of the old black woman
is plastered with mud,
a red cloth is wrapped around her head
and her feet treads burdensome
where she walks bare foot
on rocky roads
and every now and then
steps into a thorn
and almost fall over
while she removes it clumsily.

The child that she carries piggy-back
isn’t black,
nor white,
or yellow,
or eastern coloured,
he’s something of everyone
and is belted to her back
with a ragged cloth
and it’s difficult
since he’s restless
and the child is thirsty
and the hunger
burns from his stomach
to his throat.

In the distance
she hears people
gathering around a bon fire
drinking beer and dancing,
but she’s locked out
and the road is long
and she hobbles on
while the twilight is falling.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 15, 2010

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