August Up North

by Annette Snyckers

The wind, the dry one, the dusty one,
it blows all August long, whipping up
red clouds under a porcelain blue sky.
In the city it tosses plastic and paper
between tall buildings
and ambushes girls on street corners.

Behind garden walls tender blossoms shake
on wood which seemed forever dead.
And in the bare, burnt veld
between the shacks of the poor,
green shoots pierce the black.

How do they, how dare they,
when for all the pale dead days of winter
there has been no rain?