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February 12, 2009

Love story competition entry: Love letter


Cape Town at night, photo courtesy Goianobe

Selling Rag magazines on Newlands Drive
Accosting motorists at the robot
All day in the sun, for a good cause
You told me later I was an airhead
Because I messed up the accounting system
You are lucky I spoke to you again.

But I could see your passion, the way you cared
How gentle you were with people (most of the time)
How you threw your whole being into living life
But vulnerable, too
Trying to write an English exam without reading Robinson Crusoe.

I used to drive to campus
Hoping to see your battered yellow Opel Kadett
My heart singing when I did
Walking the mountain contour path together
Me trying hard to appear fitter.

On my own, looking out at the inky darkness of the Cape Flats from UCT
A piece of velvet sequined with a million lights
I know now what I didn’t know then
That I loved you, 18 years ago.

We kissed in a tent full of students
At the Kenilworth races
After enough drinks to let our defences down
But not enough to forget, though we both pretended to.

It took a while to quiet my inner panic
And you did only write me a handful of postcards
While I lived in the Rockies
But there you go.

But I came back to you.
And now, Mike, I love you, more deeply than ever
Let’s one day…
Go back to Cape Town.


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