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.