Their Soles

By | 1 March 2017

The soles of her feet when she
sits on the sand
by the breakwater, watching over
the white boy in his sunhat
digging, building castles.

The soles of her (her?) feet
crossed-over, poked from beneath
the blanket – she sleeps on
a pallet on the floor of
the room she shares with
ten other people.

The nape of her neck, her
white doek knotted there
as she prays on the
beach with her church group.

The brown nape of his neck (the young man),
shirt loose to receive ocean
waves on Muizenberg
beach, his baptism.
His white shirt (in the water)
his white shroud as the
waves turn him over
and over.

The soles of his feet (the
white boy?) flat and sinking
in soft sand, the shallow
waves breaking.

Their bare-feet in the
sand as they sing,
a prayer circle, their white
robes (the men).

The soles of his feet (the young man)
a room with an iron chair,
the burn-holes, bleeding scorched skin –

the soles of their feet
pale, hardened:
soft as my untouched palm.

In response to Tide Table by William Kentridge, 2003, Animated 35mm film (video and DVD
transfer, black and white, sound, 08:53 min), AGNSW.

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