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The S.S Truro

a harrowing echo ran through the S.S Truro

that day, thousands of bright-eyed believers

waved at their loved ones goodbye

hopeful of the odyssey to come;

naive to what is


some shaken by the pagal samundar

some disturbed by the hospitality


alas, the survivors set foot on shore


port natal

the miraged utopia


herded into partitions to buffer against the native and Europeans

stripped of honour and dignity

coerced into the cane field

set to plough and pluck at your demand


you gave me a fry bag of maize,

and I gave you the warmth of a meal

you gave me a tangled field,

and I gave you the sustenance of sugar


you gave me hope,

and I gave you myself


I often go back to that day,

the ruthlessness of the S.S Truro;

the chill of Port Natal,

and the childlike faith in the journey to come

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