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Oct 2016
For 21 days I saw changes wrought
by the freedom of 22 years  
Secrets of razor wire straight and taut
Speak of those who continue to fear

I saw nature’s beauty in land and face
As black heel continues to rise
Via school, ambition they prep for the race
Even as secretly despised

What’s changed in Soweto? I did not live
But photos and newsreels survive
Pictures of shanties bulldozed to give
Whites room to extend their hives

Now malls; monuments to white retail
Built on Mandiba’s words
Polished chrome and marble hail
“Happy” workers in a black-faced world

Monuments ringed with vendors tribal
Carved goods for sale and cheap
The rands they make do not rival
What multi-nationals’ continue to reap

Happiness is shallow until sundown
When the curtain of decorum lifts
Showing reality’s new shanty-town
Where space and plumbing are gifts

I wonder if He would be okay
Seeing his people so used
As pawns for labor with little say
As black is seldom excused
The young know the time is now
As old hatred’s in shallow graves
To be unearthed by book and plow
Keeping dreams from stunting and fade
It may not seem as such, but I had a terrific if not educational time in South Africa. The Kruger animal photo opts, the Swaziland kindergarten where half of the five and six-year-olds are orphaned due to the aides epidemic. The glassmaking co-op where exquisite glass figurines are all hand blown from recycled glass. I witnessed the resilience of a proud people even as I was saddened at the extreme draught nature has visited upon man and beast alike.
Written by
Gwen Davis-Feldman
   Khoi, --- and Doug Potter
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