Walking along the Thames, the sky was that gorgeous grey-blue-white of London and the air was wet.
Passers-by were preoccupied, texting, busy with getting somewhere.
There was a sense of choreography, of feet moving in time together, of a great creative flow.
The words of the poem were light, like chiffon.
Only the street sweeper stopped to listen.
Someone watched through a lace-curtain but could not hear because of the window’s double glazing.
The phone rang in the red booth and a dancer leapt as though in flight.
For Phyllis Naidoo
in her breath
in the colours of patience
tapping, with a whirl
and swirl of her skirt
a daughter of strength
a mother of courage
by her side.
This is one of the poems in the definitive anthology Africa! My Africa! An anthology of poems selected by Patricia Schonstein
The selection brings together a wide, rich range of poems all held together by a simple yet deep honesty. The words of Nobel Laureates, well-established poets, emerging poets and even Cape Town’s homeless people share the pages, expressing eloquence and wit, and reminding us of poetry’s unique place in the landscape of the human heart.
Available from African Sun Press
Photo by Romaney Pinnock