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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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