The South African Woman in Brooke’s Picture

I am denied
those
vivid colors—
the burnt-orange,
the reds and the yellows
framing her face,
skirting
her softness. A sheet
of murky darkness
nailed, corrosive
barbed-wire planted,
between us:
is it the texture
that

separates me
from my

sister in Azania?
I feel her eyes, searching—
her
brilliant world
dimmed by a shabby
over-wash. Intensity
of the human
spirit
does not fade in the
slums of life. Shadows
conceal,
and fences only
bar. The African woman

and I
are one.
Prismatic light
displays
the undiluted spectrum.

first published in GFWoman (Nov. 1997)

Advertisements