Out in the veld

Out in the veld there’s a large painted white rock that she likes to hug her body on, face down. The youngest girl, when she can sneak away, wades through the high bush to the rock. A ship of amity. She presses her small body against it, her arms splaying out on either side to hug the earth. The coolness of the rock from the white paint reflecting the sun alleviates her asthma, lungs resting on the cool mass. There is nothing else around out there in the empty fields of outer Johannesburg and the child likes to close her eyes in the vastness of it all and listen to her wheezing slow. When time’s run out she shuts her eyes and goes for it. The movement to lift herself off the rock moves her small ribcage against her lungs. She thinks there’s broken glass scratching the inside of her breath. But the one second of unbearable pain is worth it for these moment of relief out in the veld. Out in the veld is a tabula rasa for this little child all alone in the sweeping wilds.