i fought apartheid from the couch - a poem for hansie cronje

yes, we did it

through those dark, bellowing times

we fought

we won

 

now,

it is done

 

but still -  i can’t help it -

i’m not sure i really, truly got it

 

did we miss something, hansie?

was the effort enough?

 

i was with you

as you fought it

as you ran, and jumped it

 

outside, the wind blew, the sun moved

from the couch

i saw it all

your victory

mine

 

yes, we did it

we are through

those dark, bellowing times:

your victory

mine

 

and I will admit

there were moments

there were times

i thought it would slip

i worried the momentum would dip

and we would sink

back into ourselves

into those brutal blue winter afternoons

the echoing screams of mothers

with genitals pulled

children shocked

fathers clipped, and smacked and punched

 

but I fought it hansie

from that couch i fought it

i thought it

i hoped it

would all go away

 

and it did

 

and now the victory…

the knowledge i did all

within my range

from the fridge to the couch

and back again

i gave all i

and my people

had

i gave

the hope

that change would take us

gently

by the arm

to the green field

where the red ball rolls

and mothers tut over packed lunches

and the camera sucks the peace up

and shoots it out

to the houses

the couches

the kitchens of the families so loaded, so blunted

with the land fat

that the victory is untouchable, unknowable

like the past

like the people

like the lady who made the bed

and swept the floor

and sent us out into the world

 

 

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