93 Steps

There are 93 steps.
I'm usually in a hurry
On my way down
(rushing to work, skirt in hand,
trying not to trip where the
steps are uneven) –
But on the way back,
When I get to the top,
I stop to catch my breath and


Back over the city -
(although I don't know who Johannes was –
so it's my city –
not his)
More forest than city
Houses and buildings fugitives among the trees –
Theirs is a short stay,
An eyeblink
Until nature reclaims her own/
his own/
its own/
(my own?)

In the heart of the city
I hardly notice the trees –
It's all carsnoiseheatfumesglass&brick&concrete and
Plastic people
Behind their eightnineten foot walls;
All the well-worn fear of native Johannesburgers.

But at the top of the 93 steps
With the breeze just so
I stop and look back
Over the city and pause –
Just for a moment
With the trees stretched out before me –
And in that moment

– right … there –

(can you feel it?)

My city
My home
My noisy, angry, frightened Johannesburg

Is perfect.