by Angela Prew
Forty years of marriage
to a naval man
meant forty years of living
near the sea.
Our children learnt as babies
to swim like fish, to surf and dive
to treat those waters with respect
and know their force.
After school, we left the Cape
to spend four years in Bloemfontein;
four dry years without a drop of rain.
Water trickled out of taps, two inches in a bath.
We learnt not to waste, but our fruit trees died,
the fishpond dried;
when, finally, it rained, we ran outside
to find the skies cried mud.
Now, after many years living
on a sea-girt land, we have a drought;
no rain falls from the sky, the fields are dry,
our councilors, much younger than I,
wring their hands and cry,
What should we do…?