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Basket weaving

by Sarah Godsell


My country, my love,
(my heart lives here.
It is here she makes her early morning
And here she wakes up with her night time tears)

Requires an active form of living

Outside the tv
Off of the internet
Out into the world
What to do now, no faceless
To rely on

So we
Citizens of the world found in Johannesburg, Africa

Take our beings and
To weave
Out from the center so our initiallness
Forms the bottoms of a basket

And our south African fingers,
South African toes
Help us to find the strands
To make up people who can live
(love to live, love to wake up in
this place)

a strand of soil is the base,
to keep us ground
our memory, cellular, and instinctive
in who

and then
a strand of tears because
fools cannot live in joburg with
our crime stats rising with the electric fences

and our tears are more productive than
our fear
because they wash us clean and allow
forward movement

a strand of joburg smog
as it fills our lungs because it carries
in it the pulse of the city that flows
on the highways
( the death in its crashes
the stories in where people are

a strand of pure solid oak jacaranda protea
cactus dry earth solid after rain
because we need it
( our beautiful city – beautiful like a sepia photograph
scribbled on with a child’s hand – is not easy)

a strand of dance
of what moves our feet forward
the base tune controlled by the pulse of the city
the dance that brings the rain
the babies
the joy

hips swinging off the days work
swinging into the nights smiles

because we can
because we are

a strand of anger
because we need it
we will not let our city
our country
our hearts our happiness our peace of mind
be overrun
by the sads, the losts, the out of lucks, the out of loves, the slipped through the
cracks, the will not take life by the hands

who make the crime in this country

a strand of dry
(dry like the wine
dry like the sky in winter)
as we read of
showers taken as cures
and the miracles in benoni
and fake hold ups over questions of delayed

what to do but smile ( and
let tears
between but
sometimes it is too much to cry for)

and our identities
responsibilities and loves we have built
into beautiful baskets carried on the head of our city,
dipped into the heart of our city

what remains, the wholes that are left
are filled in with a strand of luck

because everyone needs it,
to be or not be in the right heart home place space love
at that specific time

and the rest filled with love
love to see behind the blind pregnant beggar and pray
for her to be loved but not
to feed the one who holds her

love to buy flowers at the side of the
to take home with love

love to feel the city pulse

love to cry over every loss
love to celebrate the allowedness
we have to be in this city
where we need to be

love to be there
love to hold our families together
love to hold our hearts

love for the beautiful shimmering
cd covered trolley and the
invisibileincomparison man who pushes it

love for our cities grown up
walking between rosebank and smiling to herself

love enough to be here
and hope
and smile