Cape Town Icon

by Cornelia Rohde

Not every city can dream up as many uses for
a four lane flyover
ending abruptly in a precipice
as Cape Town can.

Angry voters view it as a gangplank for venal politicians.
Winter sport crazies call it an ideal takeoff ramp for acrobatic skiers,
(if, by some miracle, the town experiences snow).
Designers imagine transforming it into a hanging waterfall.
Extreme sport fans point out it could compete with Storms River
for launching bungee jumpers.
Diplomats see it as a place to practice brinkmanship.
Squabbling families plot to shove
annoying relatives over the edge.
Arrive Alive insists it’s the best place
to test the brakes of Golden Arrow buses.
Movie buffs picture James Bond hanging off the end
with a gritty villain stomping on his fingers.
Sex therapists believe it will cure bored lovers
with the thrill of a cliff-hanging moment
as they hurtle into space.

But almost everyone agrees,

if you don’t know where you’re going,
and you don’t know where you’ve been,
a town with a road to nowhere
is the ideal place to live.


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