I walk the pavements of my city to the park. A dusty street, heat still shimmering on the tar even while the shadows grow longer. Buildings encroaching, spaces growing narrower, hemmed in by roof overhang and concrete. The graceful lines of the Victoria Institute dwarfed by the concrete buttresses of the unfinished building next door, sheets of galvanised iron enclosing a space once hugged by chain link fence, views of the clay courts held within. Gone, now a hole in the ground where society once played.
Still I walk. The open space, a gift to a nation from a coloniser but a playground for hundreds who take their daily constitutional . Coming upon the shacks crouching at the Southern end, redolent of frying food, a hint of corn and split peas, clusters of people gathered waiting for their fix. More people recreating; rugby, running, windball cricket, child flying kite, dog chasing his tail. More smells, hot dust baking, car exhaust,a dash of perfume or sweat, all to the rhythm of traffic, snatches of music, pounding feet and voices.
Going round the rutted, paved track, cracked by inquiring tree roots, watching. Faltering rays of sun, picking through the roofs of trees, skeletal after weeks of no rain, leaving bare arms against the darkening sky. Leaves hanging on for dear life, in the large dust bowl of sleeping grass and more, pounding feet.
Mothers with sleeping babies in push prams, men, seat flying, macho running in the heat, gapers sitting on benches, watching the world go by. We all meet here, where it matters not whether you own the bank or clean the streets. Here we are equal, even though we are separate. This is mine as much as it is yours.
I walk the streets, this is my city.