Childhood Days

Armoured in red flares
the seventies are filled with sounds anew,
Sunday rituals include church and sticky doughnuts,
Outside an angry wind blows sound abound,
Radio blasts out “Ring, Ring”
“Who’s that mom? Abba their name son!”
My first taste of a foreign hit!
My second tongue,
A fan so young,
The table laid in perfect culinary shade,
Table Mountain mocking
clouds frolicking,
Worlds apart from here on the Cape Flats,
Dreams begin
taking hold,
Train squealing
cuts through divided lines,
Mountain in sight
how beautiful
such majestic might,
“Why are we riding in third class?” I ask,
Sister dear
dousing innocent fear,
Head shaking
no clear understanding,
Others looking at me weirdly,
I feel ashamed in the city,
My Cape
their city
such a pity!
The ‘bergies’ wreak
vomiting grief,
They beg with callous hands outstretched,
Who’s that?
Innocently enquiring, intrigued
My hand tightly squeezed
pulled with ease,
Restaurant’s packed
feeling alienated
where’s our people?
Utensils provided
thrown rather trying to fight it,
Shouting “what do you want?”
feeling shunned,
“How rude!” I exhale,
Sister dear quelling my fear,
Others are looking at me weirdly
murmuring amongst them
eyes piercing
blonde heads popping up and down,
I smile at them
greeted by disdain,
Allowed into their wonderland world
must make the journey home again,
My mind racing,
Thoughts aimlessly pacing,
Still confused,
Sister dear attempting to amuse,
The train groans on split lines,
It eerily turns away, away
The mountain now a blue haunting hue
momentarily bathed in red
hazy orange too,
Safely entombed back home,
Murky memories remain,
What’s wrong with me?
Questions unanswered
tongue twisted,
Musical interference
temporary hindrance,
The sounds captivating
“Ring, Ring”
“Mamma it’s Abba!
Yes my child come help me,”
Leave that rowdy radio!
Outside the anxious wind
blows sand around,
Table Mountain mummified
in a choking churning shroud,
My future unsure,
Ignorant of a racial war,
Cocooned in love,
Protected from above,
Outside the wind
blows sand abound.

Don Beukes is an ex teacher of English and Geography; born, raised and educated in Cape Town, South Africa in the last two decades of Apartheid. He writes about social injustices, politics, nature, the miracle of life, spirituality, womanhood, adoption, authoritarianism and many other themes affecting our global village. He hopes to inspire others to adjust their moral compass when necessary in an ever-changing global melting pot. Visit his web page to connect to his social links and explore his literary world. Read other articles by Don, or visit Don's website.