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Monday, 15 February 2010 02:00

Caterwaul

By  Wamuwi Mbao
I walked over the hills and crests,
Flushed with the momentary ecstasy of existing on a cooling summer
evening
When the town remembered what summer truly was.
As I walked, I thought of ******, who kept me alive
When high school was ending and I thought the world was too vivid.
I thought of ******, who convinced me of my godliness
And shattered that conviction, when she was bad. The world finally
had it's say:
She's gone now. I don't think I will see her again.
I thought of *****, and the conversation we had one Friday night
In the lee of the Old Gaol
As people came and went.
That thought lingered with me longer, I thought, than the others.
The possibility of happiness contained within that one conversation -
The gracious desire to talk until the sun rose. I don't expect
she'd understand.
And I thought of you, who occasioned this poem.
When we walked - you refusing to make decisions,
I, happy just to be walking with you, shabbily dressed though I was.
We talked into the night - dashed wildly from place to place. I was
enchanted.
I said only what I knew, and imagined. You were enchanting.
That feeling has ruined me, for the moment at least.
I was seized, walking in, by a certain feeling
Thought of the time I watched the ships in the Cape Town harbour yard
Reared up out of the water, hulls soaring up into the sky.
I don't like seeing that side.
It reminds me of death, and how death is that great divider
That cuts us off from the vivid reality of conversation.
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