From Claremont to the City Hall

by Lise Day

On the train today
a man offers me his seat
stands reading South Africa Insight Guide
the blind singer shuffles the carriage length
‘God brings light to the world’
hopeful plastic cup in hand
as we rattle through Mowbray
a slender Cameroonian lady
shyly confides she is the daughter
of one of her father’s four wives
and hides her big buck teeth
with her hand as she laughs
at Salt River an armless man
spits at the guard
when asked to show a ticket
how? I wonder and look away
blind singer shuffles the other way
‘Light to Africa’s children’
scramble off at Cape Town Central
around the unconnected computerised barriers
past the chewing gum ticket lady
skate across the faux marble concourse
into the glorious cacophony
dart between throbbing taxis
enter the crumbling edifice
to hear
the world’s number-one soloist trombonist in rehearsal.

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