Sounds of the neighbourhood ring true and through.

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to the choir pushing mournful perspire
as the past week, here, was deadly dire
gang on gang ignite cowardly crossfire
innocents depleted left for drip dry
Sundays alive with the habitual battle cry
church people pray ‘why, oh why?’ to the almighty messiah
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as the community exit the hall
mense wail, embrace and bawl,
but a ray of hope as one walks triumphant tall
Joshua passed matric, first in class, above all.
The mood changes from solemn sick call
to cries of joy bellowing from each abdominal wall
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blasting the music and getting lekker gesuip.
Community joining in and doing the double take,
‘Kyk vir klein Josh, so vris soos n T-bone steak!’
Mother wipes her cheek and calms her shake
dry the tears, Sunday morning is now wide awake
heading home for Joshua’s celebratory cake
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Mom sees Joshua flexing his style
just like his distant Dad, same damn smile
and the optimistic energy of ambition in his eye.
Her one and only child
once meek and mild,
now a man of his own, fearless and wild
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‘to the wild with no fear!’
over and over the people do cheer
as they knock back mutual bottles of beer.
A proud moment for all, this must be the year!
Granny in the kombuis hiding a happy tear
her faith in youth is crystal clear
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everybody’s here, even ‘papbroek marvin’ who everybody teases
cos when he farts he sneezes and whispers ‘verskoon my Jesus’,
but now he has all the attention so he squats and he squeezes
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his broekies thunder, ’fokit ek gannie pardon!’
and everybody laughs with papbroek marvin
falling around giggling in the modest family garden
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someone is missing, it must be uncle Paul?
Joshua peeps through the hole in the wall
and there’s uncle, treating his wife like a rag doll
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they all know it’s the same old show
turn a blind eye, let it go.
Now around the corner there’s a bass bumping deep and low
a red BMW glides in devils glow
the party peoples senses shift to slow mo
as a black object slithers out the passenger window
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the hammer on the pistol clicking back
baby Isaac busts out of Mothers arms flick flack
triggering instant panic/heart/anxiety attack
as the sun goes silent pitch black
and the joy of life slips down the crack.
But round the red comes again, back
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two more blow up in beautiful dark red blood
stream of frightening screams flash flood
three lay dead in the mud
no hope for a flower to bud.
Oh thanks Lord Jesus, this party’s now a dud
BMW slithers away, bass echoes thud… thud
thud
thud
Joshua’s primordial pulse rages
his inner landscape changes
future rearranges
both parents now dead in similar stages
same story different pages
and the entire communities hearts remain in cages
thud
thud