The Beast (SOWETO)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a poem I wrote in 1985 while I was doing my Army service in the South African Army (SADF).
SOWETO is an acronym for South Western Townships, and is normally associated with the large collection of townships near Johanesburg. This one however, refers to a small part of the township (shanty town) near Port Elizabeth.
Shortly after this poem was written, our platoon sgt was killed by residents of this township (a bunch of kids ranging in age from about 10 to about 16). He was stabbed, castrated, disembowled etc.. which made this poem that much more poignant for me after the fact.
I still cannot decide what the title is/should be... Either "The Beast" or "SOWETO"...

Submitted: September 17, 2008

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Submitted: September 17, 2008

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Soweto

It sits,
It waits.
There is fear
And hunger.
I am a stranger,
An abject of hatred.
I am one in the midst,
Inside the jaws of the beast;
I am white,
They are black.
Between us,
an infinite gulf.
The steel shutters of their eyes,
The deadly, implacable politeness.
This sprawling womb of hate,
This sordid town of fear.
The Beast,
Sits
and
Waits !


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