Day’s End in Enniedorp∗ A day in June. Tuesday. Week’s worst day! Twenty to five.

A wintry sun, Low in the sky, Casts long shadows, Emits no warmth. I’m in a dorp With tired shops, Bank and church, GPO and a Court. Tucked together Along a street, With bumpy tar And dusty holes. Now and then A small bakkie Clatters past Carrying ‘boys’. A thin veil Of dust rises And wafts To where I sit. On a bench, On the stoep, Of the old ‘Royal’ Hotel. As I sit I see No hustle or bustle; Just a person or two Moving listlessly by. Across the road, An Algemene Handelaar Stocks and sells Assorted goods. On its stoep ’Mongst other things, An ancient plough And three-legged pots.
The small country towns, villages, and hamlets in South Africa are colloquially referred to and known by the Afrikaans word as dorps.

An adult ‘boy’ Shuffles out, Begins to take The things inside. Exiting the Bottle Store Ou Cronje sways out Sipping a half-jack In a paper packet. Church clock Marks the ‘quarter to’ With a dull Ding, … dong, …ding, Enough already! No waiting till five. At other stores Doors begin to close. Doef-doef-doef ! A tractor bobs past Pulling a trailer Loaded with bags. From Rita’s Fashions The assistant emerges, Pulls on knitted gloves, And heads for home. Three youngsters From rugby practise Sidle past with a Scrunch of studded boots. From the Kafee Two clients emerge; Half a loaf each And bottles of Fanta. Three farmers, Wearing shorts, Enter the bar For brandy and coke. A car trundles by. Again there’s dust, From unfixed holes That pepper the tar. Quiet returns. Sun is lower. Shadows longer. In Enniedorp.


Now wisps of smoke, From chimney tops, Signal day’s end And a wintry night. Keith Beavon 30:x:2010


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