It is the simple things
like leaving home at six in the afternoon
to buy vis & tjips from the local fish shop – wrapped in paper.
Extra salt and vinegar please.
To go sit on a bench at the beach,
licking sticky slaptjip fingers, clouds rolling over.
A seagull drops like a rock from the sky
to suddenly slow down, soft landing.
An old rusted car comes rolling in, front left light crushed
and the wheels are about to come off. A young girl gets out,
barely dressed warm enough. Her newborn in her arms.
To show him the sea, to taste the air – the simple things that matter most.
We watch the sky slide into a golden pink gown.
Crackling paper behind us – a man digging in the bin. Devouring mouldy food while the ocean devours the sun.
He gobbles down liquid from a squashed KFC cup.
The girl hands me her baby,
me – a stranger on the bench with sticky snoek fingers,
to get a ten rand note from her starved purse
out of the homely boot of her broken-down car.
Mumbling he stumbles away
holding that single green note
like I am holding the small body of wonder.
The frozen parts within me break open – the simple things that matter most.
Ansa Smit 2016.