The river

One day the Hillbrow tower started to cry.
Real tears poured down its sides
collected in the gutters and
ran down Banket Street.
When the other buildings saw
the tower’s sadness, they started to weep
in sympathy.
Soon the whole city was sobbing,
the tears joined other tears and collected
in the depressions and valleys,
they covered the koppies
cascading over Gold Reef City
flooding Fordsburg and
soaking Soweto.
They flowed until they became a river
that carried us into the night
where our dreams grew
taller than buildings

from Taller Than Buildings (P Y de Villiers, 2006), © Phillippa Yaa de Villiers 2006, used by permission of the author

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Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

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1The River

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2What the dead say

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3Wanting

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4Stolen Rivers

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5Muse

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6Jozi parks

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7Problem child

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8Don’t mention the war

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9Tissue paper

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10Origin

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11Bones

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12The girl behind the curtains

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13Wisdom

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14Red apples

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15The rain children

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16Tea for Thabo

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18Horse

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19Footsteps of oppressors

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20Courage - it takes more

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22Going down there

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23Breastsummer

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24Biscuit

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25Kimberley pride

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26Amputee

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27Flying backwards

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28Tongue

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30The quiet conversation

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31Commonwealth Love

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32Love

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33Anthem

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Books by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers