Yesterday, today and … COVID-19

Yesterday, today and tomorrow in tenses

Past, we wondered these dirty streets,

Unswept pavements with broken bottles and,

drinking glasses that stabbed generations

as they drank themselves to death,

Whilst dancing to sounds of disruption,

From music to voices

Rants here and there,

today the streets are forcefully at peace.

Presently we miss walking,

same spaces we walked a month ago, touch and go

nodding to familiar faces,

waving hands free from officers.

Police and Soldiers,

They were forever here,

we just didn’t see them.

Now they’re holding our breaths as never before.

Yesterday’s news:

There was my neighbor,

with a broken spirit,

suffered the loss of her young soldier.

She chose not to die in pain

and let her son’s death to be in vain,

Rather be a street vendor,

than to bury her face into a pillow.


wore her pinafore,

tied a doek on her head,

her scarf in her waist

Picked a spot,

built a stand and sold sweets.


the same table stand extended,

her items expanded,

humility unchanged.

She wears the same smile,

like her sweets however,

now bold to the size of her stand,

So firm yet warm,

like the taste of her gatsby and vetkoek,

along a tenable work ethic.

Today, she woke up to the news,

that demanded her to remain indoors,

so to speak ‘flatten the curve’.

With her flat stomach from starvation,

She tightens her belt and,

Soldier along.

Because she doesn’t know what tomorrow would be like.