In Memoriam


47 Years Later

As the body of liberty
in her grave decays
We who write
and what we say
are but the nails
of her hands and feet
from which her delicate skin
Texts and speech
beyond this grave
no living eyes or ears
can reach.
Above with squawks,
and flat screen pings,
complacent fear
with hunger rings.
Beneath destruction
wrapped in mirth
lies the dying impression
of her beauty’s worth.
Her decomposition
those ends exposes
all she gives, all she proposes
appearing to strengthen
while we think
appearing to lengthen
while her skin still shrinks.

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..