Luxury cars displayed, glass-encased,

a stone’s throw from where

people make their homes

under flyovers.


Leafy suburbs, all high walls and gated communities,

where the fat pony’s stable

is a step up

from the best built shack.


Assuage your guilt by paying someone

to mow your lawn

or clean your house

for a cut above the minimum wage.


Turn your head away, un-see them all;

the beggar by the robot,

the thin woman with the baby on her back

picking through the trash.


Don’t look back

Don’t glance over your shoulder.

It’s all still there.


High up, in your shiny city apartment

overlooking the city-bright lights

you forget the people

shivering on the street.


South Africa is the most unequal country in the world and reading this post from Sadje last week impelled me to write this. 

Note: ‘robot’ is what we call a traffic light here.

15 thoughts on “Juxtaposition

  1. Such a beautifully sad poem. And yet what have we done? We’ve delegated that which we don’t want to do upon those who don’t have a choice but to do it, and the stigma settles. I know there are plenty who like to think humans are good at heart, but it’s moments like this where I gotta stand by the Bible’s talk of the Old Adam: the sinful nature in us. We want to do what WE want to do, and be damned how that affects others.
    Sorry, I know it’s dour, but moments of life like this make it hard to think otherwise. 😦 So it’s time to break from that inner selfishness and share, even if that sharing is just a hug. What a kind world it would be if we all shared hugs! xxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

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