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We talked of those we had worked with that day,

and those with whom we would work again.

We passed, as always, so many walking,

as we left Chiawelo in Soweto.

We were returning to New Redruth,

where the Cornish tin miners were exiled

to grow the gold reefs and shine the diamonds.

We joined the steady rush hour traffic

on the N12 South. Passing the Gleneagles

shopping mall, I saw, on the hard shoulder

of the opposite carriageway, a man,

barefoot, bearded, young,  literally in rags –

his shirt and cut-offs multi-coloured strips –

striding north calmly, purposefully.


Maybe my companions saw him too.

If so we never spoke of it, perhaps

not having the words or the heart to talk

of that man, travelling as if he had walked

on the same road from its beginnings

in the Western Cape and would walk to its

ending in Mpumalanga, like one

walking home after work.




© Copyright David Selzer

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