A Poem Inspired by Life in Durban, South Africa, Land of the Zulus: When Will We Be Equal and Why Is There Such A Chasm Between Us?
Torn soles and ragged cloth
Pleading eyes and cupped palms
“The savages,” whispers a passerby
Yesterday’s news, tossed upon the floor
Torn, abused, discarded
Sewerage seeping from stained gutters
Today’s headlines, Killed, Slaughtered, Stolen
Traffic zooms by. Ghettos blast.
Cardboard boxes line the hard sidewalks
I pass the many market tables with
Bright plastic gods and fruit pyramids
Decor a la spray-painted street walls
To the shrills of an old three stringed guitar
A blind man sings O Sorrow My Africa....
And turn a corner
A few paces further
To be courted by bright lights and window signs
Laughter and bustle
Luminous doorways fronted by swept streets
Tall shiny buildings
Pink and white soft serve ice cream
Yet another block and it's
A pool of sticky urine down a wall
A scarlet stain on a park bench
Near a smiling, staring policeman
The wind shifts an airborne newspaper
Into a stained gutter
Torn, abused, discarded.
Audio adaptation of this poem is available at www.myspace.com/jeannepoisson