the amandzing way

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poverty

it’s hard for me
to face poor white reality
to see
broken spirits etched on blank cracked faces
nostalgically chipped china huddled under threadbare tinsel
looking
at half empty cans on bare wooden racks
watching
people warp under rusty iron roofs
looking away
as the one-legged granddad dankie dame’s for his
dankie tannie pakkie of frozen meat melting in the heat
nestled at the bottom of a rubbish bag
clean, green, soaking up the chemical orange scent
my hands stink my soul is rent
geseënde kerfees mumbled
in hidden shame for feeling sorry for me
for not having the guts to try and fight
to stay in the light when i thought i was beaten by life
i hide in the shadow of the community tree
watching
a community of shadows sip cautiously at their juice while
the missionary prays for better times
before feeding them a surreal meal of stew and rice
before climbing on his hundred thousand rand bike
i want to disappear in his dust
leave behind a forgotten memory of dirt-poor musk
leave behind these broken husks
i want to cry
but my fifty rand is not enough for tears
and I don’t know how
or where to turn my face as an empty child
sips cautiously at her oros
making it last a lifetime

amanda

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