Daleen Enslinstrydom

Rookie - 215 Points (25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)

On The Donkey Cart - Poem by Daleen Enslinstrydom

It was very early in the morning
when old Jafta waked me and Mieta up
as we did ask to travel with him
to the milk depot.

We sat together on the donkey cart
with our shoulder pressing against each other’s
under the sheepskin blanket
while the milk cans were bumping and knocking
against each other
and we were glad that we came
on this trip

and the twilight was still grey
and we could not really see the road
that was meandering through the hillocks
on a slope down to the railway depot

and we held tightly onto the milk cans
and giggled and talked so much
that Jafta had to ask us
to have a little respect for his old ears.

In joyfulness like only children can experience
we carried the heavy milk-cans to the depot
while Jafta was still sitting on the donkey-cart
and we drew circles on the cement
and played hop-scotch
until the sun was rising in the east

and old Jafta called us
to come and have some of the breakfast
that grandma had packed in
and we took hands
while Jafta said a prayer
and in silence we ate vetkoek
and had some tea from the flask

and I observed that Jafta was growing old
and the crow-tracks under Jafta’s eyes were deeper
and the lines around his mouth was set
and his hair had turned to grey
and I wondered if he had grown old
by all of the waiting on the milk-train?

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Poem Submitted: Friday, July 5, 2013

Poem Edited: Friday, July 5, 2013

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