by Lorraine Joubert

From the corner of my eye,
I did not see you sitting
On your yellow pedestal
On busy inner-city sidewalk
I did not heed the nod of your head!

Blast! crashed through
Shelter of car
Violence! of blow!
On window glass
It winced! on
Four wheels

His evilness
Entered anxiety
A shadow
Jumping through the crack!
…onto my lap
I groped for bag
That was not needed -
He groped for phone

Before I could
Before I could
his head against steering wheel,

Screams of NO!
The alarm! I hoot, worked
He removed his darkness
From shelter

YOU sat calmly
Looking at the devastation!
You created
The noise! from my throat
The blood! on my shirt
Pieces! of non-cutting glass
All around me

The freedom fighter behind
Lost his cool and revved pass

A kind black face
Forced a can of Coke
Into my hands
I poured the sugar -
Against prudence
Down my throat
Only then, YOU slipped off your pedestal
And disappeared on the busy
City sidewalk

Trembling I drove
The cold wind
Gushing tranquil on my raging body
Scream into every tremor

At home
The dog cried
At the gate
I parked the car, falling out of it
Collapsing like a withered hope

Safety enveloped me
Hands making tea, feeding me
Sleeping tablets
brought the blackness
of sleep and rest