Sunday, 25 March 2012

Mama Alice


August. A winter-light, 
Blue-bright day. 
The first swallows, old friends,
Swoop a greeting over this
Dislocated stranger. 

Mama Alice takes my pale hand
In her careful brown one, and 
We walk. 

Here - the ramshuckle hen-house. 
There - the piecemeal cattle-shed. 
Past the patch where the 
Still-dead mealie stalks 
Lurch in drunken ranks. 
Round the rondavel, where the ancestors live; 
Through the flat houses Where the occasional grandchildren 
Come, and stay, and go. 
The wary dogs wag their tails 
And the geese, the BLOODY GEESE, 
Honk in utter disbelief.

But Mama holds me in her great black embrace, 
Sweeps a hand to the horizon and says: 
Wherever you are, Anywhere in the world, 
THIS is your home.

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