Somehow We Survive

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Somehow we survive
and tenderness, frustrated, does not wither.
Investigating searchlights rake
our naked unprotected contours;
over our heads the monolithic decalogue
of fascist prohibitions glowers
and teeters for a catastrophic fall;
boots club on the peeling door.
But somehow we survive
severance, deprivation, loss.
Patrols uncoil along the asphalt dark
hissing their menace to our lives,
most cruel, all our land is scarred with terror,
rendered unlovely and unlovable;
rendered are we and all our passionate surrender
but somehow tenderness survives.

Dennis Brutus

(A poem by South African poet Dennis Brutus (1924 – 2009), written during the period of Apartheid. In memory of Shujaat Bukhari.)