Posted in Friends, Kind Businesses

Justice ‘Restored’ in Stellenbosch

Here’s something we can all agree on: It’s nice to see good things happen to good people.

And anybody who knows Justice knows what I’m talking about.

Justice Shamba is one of my favorite people that I encounter during my frequent outings in the town of Stellenbosch, where I live. Earlier this year, I used to see him nearly every morning after class at my favorite local yoga studio on Andringa Street. He worked next door, serving up Hazz coffee behind a neighboring retail shop window.

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Posted in Prose, Strangers

A message to the sidewalk sleeper that he will never hear

When I woke this morning, I heard you fighting across the street with Cleopatra in the vacant lot that you both regularly inhabit.
A Wednesday morning turf war.

We started calling her Cleopatra when we moved in last year.
Every night I would hear her from the vacant lot, screaming the most pearl-clutching Afrikaans profanities at phantom companions.
I would count the number of times she would shriek “Jou ma se….####!” until I could finally fall asleep.

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Posted in Poetry, Prose, Strangers

To the Lost: A bricolage poetry series

On Sunday, May 31st, my favorite newspaper, The New York Times, published a list of nearly 100,000 names of the victims of COVID-19 in the United States. On its front cover were the names of 1,000 victims, along with their ages, locations, and a brief line from their obituaries.

I was struck by the array. Some of the lines read like poetry, some made me laugh aloud, and some made my heart ache in their brevity. I imagined each of the people behind these names, and I winced painfully at the thought of many of them dying alone, without their families surrounding them. This tribute from the Times affords them even the slightest recognition of a life lived and now concluded, with dignity.

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