from google





The girl with the Book …





We stood beside each other, in the icy sleet and the piercing rain, 


she held a book in her hand, Nelson Mandela’s “Long walk to Freedom“.




She asked me if I had read it, and I betrayed my ignorance,


“I don’t like politics, its too dirty” I said,


“Everything is political”, she replied as I felt myself being read,


by her eyes chiseling into mine, until I shook my head.




“What comes of politics, when it is all a corrosive pond of muck?”, I asked,


she nodded, “we would not be standing at this bus-stop, were if not for people like him”, and she looked away,


“but his was a struggle for freedom from the tyranny of Apartheid, nothing close to the politics of greed we witness each day”, I said with a self-assurance so plain,


“his comrades and him struggled against Apartheid, yes”,


“but his political creed was the bedrock upon which all his ideals lay”,


“and that was the politics of revolution, and of pursuing a political end”, she smiled at me,


“and was it not his selling out that lead directly to this, our country’s mess?”, I pushed back,


“and you say you’re not interested in politics yet have such stinging political views”, she looked me straight in the eye,


“he sold out so that you and I may share this bus stop together, he sold out so that you and I may walk these streets as citizens, he sold out so that you may vote, he sold out so that your door is not knocked down at 3AM because you hold these views”,


“he sold out so that you and I and all the different races in this country can ride this bus that we are waiting for”.




As we got onto our different school buses she waved goodbye.


in the sleet and pouring rain,


I smiled and waved back, never to see her again.




The girl with the book.


The girl with Nelson Mandela’s “Long walk to Freedom” in her hand,


and I knew then that there is, and that there will always be hope,


even as today looked and felt impossibly bleak,


there will always be hope,


for a better tomorrow, less cruel and more just,


as long as we carry in our eyes and hold in our hearts,


that passionate,

unbowed,

principled, 


steely streak …







during Apartheid South Africa

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