Friends?

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 65th birthday.

Makhosazana Xaba
South African
b. 1957

 

She is my friend. No, she was my friend –
Over time, we went our separate ways.

She became richer when her father died;
I became poorer when my parents retired.

When she moved to the coast, another inconvenience:
The distance between our homes.

When she visits the city, she worries about the safety of her car outside my home.
When I travel for work not too far from the coast, I cannot afford to travel to hers.

Although we still chat, the content builds walls between us;
Her holidays longer, the number of her white friends larger.

Although she still plans on learning an indigenous language,
I—her preferred practice ground—have become an absence.

She was my friend when we were anti-apartheid activists.
What are we today? The common enemy has yet to surface.

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