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RICHARD FOX
socio-critical mass

on the second day
after the country's third
election I am walking home
another early morning shift
dead-fuck dog-tired,
eyes peeled against the rhind of the world
drawn with the longing for sleep
&/or peace
past the houses of people
too beginning to face the compromise
they have reached with their own lives

and gardenboys, as in the old days, are still black
and raise their heads to me in greeting
linger around the fringes of immaculate properties
still not theirs,

I wonder when the fight will come,
and if it does, as only it knows when,
a stone dropped within the empty endless
stomach of man, who I will end up
fighting for, how I will end up - a fence painter by nature
most absolute, a narrow gardener
of the modern soul

in the townships and informal settlements on
barriers of culture that do not change with regimes which
ever need them, the paint has dried,
a new coat that has not changed the colour much
nor the fashion of the fence,

slashed along the sloping groves of lawn
is the handle of a spade remade in the image of man?
and is the value of poverty merely a need to keep
re-inventing it,

populate houses with those enough to show it can be done,
and then with-hold land for the purpose
of conservation - to grow the energy of a ballot
further down the line in the hearts of these forever denied
in sheer expectation,

the desire to believe this fancy Lotto will finally liberate
the black man, and finance all his dreams for free
dom