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Two Poems

by Eleni Philippou


Free and Fair

The fluorescent lights
of the Primrose community hall
thrum like an electric heart.

Ink the thumb, stamp the book,
block the number, tick the square.
Build the nation, say it clear.

Shut the lights, pack the claims,
close the polls, but keep the keys
and close the grate to keep them out.


In the post-Apartheid

It is the cleanest face.
Even of emotion.

It is the face
of my country
scrubbed down
with the stiff rags
of historical process,
and soaped
with the hard water
of forbearance.