It’s 1948 and I’m 7 years old
Mommy’s at Saturday shopping
Sarah and Jane hanging the washing
Keeping an eye on me as I play with my cars in the sand
He strides down the drive big and scary
In black helmet and black uniform
Ek kom soek in julle kamer
Vir wat? Vir kafferbier!
Sarah and Jane protest – too much?
He searches, he finds, takes a sample
Dis gemmerbier! Dis gemmerbier!
Smug and threatening he leaves to test it.
That night in the lounge by the fire
With Sarah and Jane and my little boet
Mommy comes in in her black evening dress
Full skirt and covered in tulle
Embroidered with gold threaded roses
She twirls so the skirt flies out gaily
Singing: “See me dance the polka, see me cover the ground!”
She leaves on Daddy’s right arm.
All night long I sit by the fire
What if he comes and arrests them?
Leaving me and my boet alone here?
He never comes back
There’s an evidence lack
But I never have lost my deep fear of Polka.