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My Cape Town - a poem by the Dean of St George's Cathedral
My Cape Town
(Africa Day, May 25)
My Cape Town
is not an African city.
Like Joburg. Dakar. Like Abidjan or Cairo.
It is African. Like Mannenburg;
Like a bullet-borne message
from the Motherland of dread
to the mansions on caviar hill, saying,
"We are here. You can't forget us."
My Africa, like Kigali, Abuja or Mogadishu;
laments freedom's still-birth in the ICU ward
of the first uhuru ballot.
My Africa, raises it heart to no flag
but to the banner of the just, blowing,
like truth, over the graves
of Cuito Canavale, of Darfur,
of Mitchells Plain's young-blood,
uncovered till when Jesus comes.
My Africa knows the terror of Marikana,
of drive-by devils, slow-cruising in the dark
of a weeping Hanover Park. Nyanga East.
Khayelitsha, like the Delft, is my Africa
where faeces kiss the bare feet
of my children
running to school, or from life
that denies them
the grace of old age.
My Africa sings its rage.
My Africa, where amnesia is
the first step in the dance of healing,
remembers the empty pot of no-work
the hard bed of broken promises
My Africa remembers
the power of the clenched fist
raised, all over the world.
© Michael Weeder
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