Gert Strydom

Gold Star - 30,073 Points (03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

Today I Am Sixteen Again - Poem by Gert Strydom

A statue stands at the gate
of the school,
marking a place of distinction
where children get the highest grades
in the country
play rugby, cricket
and golf at international level.

Today I am sixteen again
and have to go home
as the school has been closed
because of intimidation
by union thugs, from a union
to which the teachers here
do not belong.

Five minibus taxis’s stopped
in the school yard
and black adults got out,
threw bricks through windows,
set the rugby, hockey and soccer fields alight
by splashing gasoline
and the police do not intervene.

The principal is scared
about our safety
and although the teachers here
are not on strike,
school has been cancelled
and the country is going to the ground,
falling to pieces
while a union is striking.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 20, 2010

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