19 July 2019

Antioquia, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

We embarked on the first leg of our trip to Ciudad Bolivar
even though I’d thought we'd never get out of those woods
before someone or something began to grow on our van,
mould or espeletia, the national flower of Colombia;
but we left that labyrinth of morning and evening,
quit its gauntlet, followed the slap of tire on tar
till light broke and discovered us, and shone
on terraces of coffee farms with the certainty of a beam
that could only have been delivered by a high office.

That’s why we were tired, when we finally stood
on a rostrum in the village square of Ciudad Bolivar,
the spirit of Colombia painted on the faces
of walls of cafés around the plaza, and on people,
shadowed by nothing except the sound of living,
the sound of a seeming nonchalance about problems
a petty world such as ours has continued to peddle.



Main square, Ciudad Bolivar

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