Mbuyiseni Oswald Mtshali

1940 / Vryheid

Keep Off The Grass

The grass is the green mat
trimmed with gladioli
red like flames in the furnace.
The park bench, hallowed,
holds the loiterer listening
to the chant of the fountain
showering holy water in the congregation
of pigeons.

"Keep off the grass,
Dogs not under leash forbidden."

Then Madam walks her Pekinese,
bathed and powdered and perfumed.
He sniffs at the face of the "Keep Off" sign
with a nose as cold as frozen fish
and salutes it with a hind paw
leaving it weeping in anger and shame.
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