I was that partial silence after a prayer,
A minute of silence for the departed,
a consoling hand to the bereaved_
portent supremacy.

A profound calmness of meditating rivers,
Yet cluttered with rage,
and a force that floods.

Now I’m cud for the rumen,
Victim to kitchen politics that
rewards the non toiler with bigger, juicier chunks.
I’m all but Jimmy, same old Jimmy!

That’s why I sneaked into surrounding facades,
only to find myself flinching from a sluice room’s stench.
No way to escape my dreary life of silent desperation,
as I toil in bizarre exasperation.

A mule’s fate on the ranch,
perpetually pestered by flies
that wantonly live off me and
no one seems to care.

When shall this end?
Woes sordid like napkins!
Chasing an illusion as is that cliché_
the donkey and the carrot.
Can’t I nibble on a currant?
Like I have the means!

Months and years of servitude,
all to the taxman’s gratitude.
Jobless kid, a hungry wife_
same old Jimmy.

Holes in my shoes,
I carry around a disconcerted face,
What unbearable torture
That sew the seed whose whirlwind
was reaped by many as blameless as poor kids,
gone from plump to sallow and now haggard.

Blown in the gale of poor service delivery.
l lost a friend at a clinic, a demented health system,
while a nurse folded her arms.
Swamps were turned into our dwellings,
not a cent from Antwerp, and still I toil and break a sweat.
Meager recompense coming my way,
half salaries across the board,
Thanks but no thanks.
I’m leaving now to toil elsewhere
at least I will smile if I get a quarter.


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