Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The journey


It was in the train
from Cape Town,
the one to Bellville,
at a quarter past three
It was there I met him
tired and grey.
He looked at me
I did not see his questions
I preferred
to look away.

It was in the train
to Bellville
the one from Cape Town
at a quarter past three
where I saw him looking
through the clear shining window
anxiously clutching
the bag in his hands.

“What’s up with him?”
the schoolboys asked.
“He sure looks nervous,
has he something to hide?”
They all started laughing
and he kept on looking.

It was in the train
to Bellville
the one from Cape Town
at a quarter past three
with the name of the station
in front of our eyes
that he slowly moved forward
and tapped the boy
right next to him.
“What is this station?”
he softly asked.
The answer came
in spurts of laughter,
“He cannot read!”
Continuing their mocking
they got off the train.
Then I understood
the eyes and the questions.
I cannot read
without thinking
of the train to Bellville
the one from Cape Town
at a quarter past three
and the thousands of eyes
looking out of the window
and me never knowing
whether they can see.


From: McGregor Poetry Anthology 2013

Published by African Sun Press in association with the McGregor Poetry Festival

ISBN number 978-0-620-62302-5


The Poet:


Diana Ferrus is a writer, poet, performance poet, story-teller, editor and publisher, best known for her epic poem about the Khoisan woman, Sarah Baartman, whose remains were on display in Paris until 1986. She is a founder member of the Afrikaanse Skrywersvereniging, Bush Poets and Women in Xchains. Her works, in both Afrikaans and English, have been published in various anthologies and a collection, Ons Komvandaan.






Previously published:

Diana Ferrus: I’ve come to take you home; Obsession; and The journey from her collection I’ve come to take you home.