people beside one another,
ignoring and self-caring
Blissful serpent creeps in the blank walls, floors and lights
HELP! on a shit seat
I’m 28 … please change my wet nappy
(can pigs not fly and we must die)
Elevators, halls, computers, more people –
faces empty, faces full – flowers
Up, up, up, up, up,
and cartooned walls stare at the children
(some not so childlike)
Nurses walk in the dark, detached, Knowing
Love in a sleeping (yet vigil) mother
Devil’s number lying in the room
Tortured, the little boy screams but doesn’t wake
He dreams, he lives:
“I tell you,
you don’t know injustice until you see me;
a boy of thirteen, the size of a baby
Tell me, Mom
I know you love me, so tell me the truth
Why can’t I play ball with the other kids?
Why do they look at me that way?
I can’t walk
I can’t even writhe like a headless snake
They say that you left me with a great brain
but what’s the use
when the rest of me doesn’t listen to it?
Tell me, God, where’s the justice in this?
Injustice lifts her smiling face,
her Brother spinning these webs of hate
With light, the hitchhiker escapes,
stands on the earth and is picked up by an optimist.
PS: A poem about a hitchhike from Durban to Johannesburg to see my hospitalized cousin who had osteogenesis imperfecta i.e. brittle bone disease.