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More on LitNet
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Vonkverse

Bring the statues back

Ingrid de Kok

Nobody lives in Verwoerdburg or Triomf anymore.
Names have changed,
some chiseled leaders of the past
been relocated or sold to foreigners.

Remember the gasp, the sheer delight:
(in memory filmed in black and white)
apartheidís architect a dangling man
at the end of a winch on a crane?

We hear he then was moved
to a garage in Bloemfontein
where his chipped statue friends
gaze at him disconsolately.

How easy, after all
to remove a world,
to erase a crooked line
and start again.

But the memory of a belted policeman,
his moustache like a dog on a leash -
letís not lose that, or weíll begin to believe
DRC church spires were darning needles.

And letís not forget suburban gates, dogs barking,
the duplicity of post-office and liquor store.
If we auction the statueís buttons
we might forget the monumental overcoat.

Letís put Verwoerd back
on a public corner like a blister on the lips;
letís walk past him and his molded hat and snor,
direct traffic through his legs,
and the legs of his cronies of steel and stone.



LitNet: 24 Januarie 2006

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