She looks tired, her face sullen
her built is somewhat smaller than
the younger generation

She is clad in coarse wool and black
her shoulders broadened by years
of hard labor and her hands
contain mountains and rivers

She never sits down she is
somehow always going forward
forward, toward, toward

Her steps are now short but still plenty
her back that of a tortoise-shell
covering its soft contents

When she passes soldiers, they salute her
The priest gives her a silent nod
The youth offers her their train seats

For she melted the steel that became
the bridges, the car
For she crushed the rocks that became
the road, the city hall
For she planted and harvested so that
you can grow

Even in her weakened state and waning last days
her footsteps keep pounding past our front doors
forward, forward, toward, toward

by Anja Marais