(reading Daphne Rooke)
Thank you for the book. It reminded me
in the way she writes, dry as the Karoo,
of the long hot drive from Matjiesfontein
the day Paul stopped to give a girl a lift
even though she wasn’t expecting one.
She sat uneasily in the front seat
beside him, saying thank you baas until
he said don’t call me baas I’m not your baas
and she said yes baas. That is how it was,
grit spattering the windscreen, fynbos, rock,
the shimmering air, the back of his neck,
all stuck in things we couldn’t change like glue,
flung towards our invisible futures
which in my case would turn out to be you.
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