Red The blood shed during apartheid Voices drowned by tears of mothers missing sons daughters growing up while Dad's in prison and people displaced by District 6. Museums erected in their memory "Always Forward, Never Forget"
Blue The open sky meets the water As the Dutch sail into the bay A trading-stop-turned-city For weary travelers to call home. The streets now bear their names And people speak their language, Pushing native and Western cultures together As one.
Green The land stretches over mountaintops The city sparkles on the water Narrow sidewalks and busy streets covered with "hooting" cars on the wrong side of the road. The market with tents and bargains The tropical trees in the park nearby, inviting passerbys to explore.
Black and White For the people Once separated, now trying to unite as a family. The colors of diversity Speaking native tongues Cooking and serving up traditions, But still haunted by the past.
Yellow For the gold That was found in Joburg, and That thrives on the streets of Cape Town Sculptures, statues, beat of the drum Colorful buildings Make this city its own.
The Y This is the Rainbow Nation Whites, Blacks, and everything in between Coming together as one Waving the South African flag And looking towards the future.
I wrote this as part of a group project while in South Africa on a study abroad.
The museum feels like heaven, feels like I could walk into the corner Pollack and the indiscriminate Monet, but there’s the characterization of Thomas Kane and you hate Mondays security guard.
The man with a beard followed me all the way from the Impressionist room to the modern films and when he finally made me lift my eyes from the canvas, his were turquoise and shook me awake.
I kept running up the stairs because I finally found out where they keep the hidden garden with the spiraled copper fountain and I laughed when I found my reflection in the Italian enamel.
You fell asleep with your head on my knees. The weight of your skull was alarmingly heavy, so I played with your hair until you woke up. The moment of recognition on your face was so human I wanted to cry.
You scrunch up your eyebrows and touch your glasses trying to remember and a tiny echo of a perfect smile plays on your lips. You kiss me exactly and hum along.
You carried a contraband white umbrella into the gallery so we hid it under a desk. Your helmet was still blank so I gave you some concept art. Your languid loss of service as a multitude of goodbyes allow me to kiss your forehead right as your thoughts hit the pillow.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I understand why you tuck me into a warmer blanket before you leave for work in the morning with your heavy boots and your thermos and let me sleep while you shower and kiss me awake for breakfast with a cup of coffee in hand.