Patricia, reading a poem from the soon-to-be-published, final manuscript of Africa! My Africa! at the base of Mill Street Bridge highway. The poem was read aloud. People driving by, slowed down. There was no hooting, only a sense of wonder.
“It is recommended that Poetry be read everywhere and at all times.”
Allan Kolski Horwitz
When all strength had left him
and all songs departed,
an old man took him and laid him
by a bridge on the National Road –
convoys of sheep-farmers and water-diviners
and a kommandant in a Casspir
passed him there.
And in the heat of that day,
he lay past noon without stirring
it was a roving jackal that drove
him from under the bridge
to the lime-washed walls of a donga,
there for the gathering
of sunflower seeds.
Then from the pondoks outside Christiana,
out of the shade of a dry eucalyptus,
an old woman fed him pap and a trickle of tea;
at last, under that blue sky
he felt strong in the knees.
Allan Kolski Horwitz is a poet and publisher living in Gauteng. He is one of 149 poets included in the amazing anthology, Africa! My Africa!