The Cape Point funicular stops. A baboon
is squatting on the track, suckling its young.
Cameras click. We wait. Mother and child lope off
into the fynbos and the proteas.
We trundle down to the visitors’ centre.
On a path by the electrified fence
beneath the restaurant terrace, a baboon stalks.
Much further below and beyond is False Bay.
A distant whale breaches, and another –
then a destroyer passes, sailing
from Simons Town for the Southern Ocean.
Towards closing time the whole troop gathers
on a knoll above the perimeter fence,
the dominant male at the centre.
They wait. Meanwhile, he copulates twice.
There must be gaps in the fence. A young male,
bleeding, clutching packets of sugar,
is chased from the coffee shop, his pursuer
with a padded stick. Suddenly, the big male
is among us with the speed of a sprinter.
He knocks a young woman down, grabs her coke
and crisps, disappears. We are powerless.