Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

1940 / Vryheid

Always A Suspect

I get up in the morning
and dress up like a gentleman -
A white shirt, a tie and a suit.

I walk into the street
to be met by a man
who tells me "to produce."

I show him
the document of my existence
to be scrutinised and given the nod.

Then I enter the foyer of the building
to have my way barred by a commissionaire
"What do you want?"

I trudge the city pavements
side by side with "madam"
who shifts her handbag
from my side to the other,
and looks at me with eyes that say
"Ha! Ha! I know who you are;
beneath those fine clothes
ticks the heart of a thief."
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