In South Africa there are a number of people who make a living from collecting recyclable material and taking it to collection points. You see them on the streets, often early in the morning, dragging their platform-like carts, piled high with recyclables. I saw one such young gman last week but instead of dragging his heavy cart, he was coasting down the road on it, riding it like an oversized skateboard. This happy sight prompted me to write this poem about making the most of life.
The silver lining
Clad in dirty shoes and shorts;
His face streaked with dirt;
He swoops past like a bird in flight;
Thrilled with disaster to flirt.
Like nothing you’ve ever seen before;
The skateboard on which he rides;
A platform piled high with recyclables;
No one his recklessness chides.
A pair of dark eyes, wild and bright;
Glow beneath his unkempt crop;
He take a sharp corner rather wide;
There is no-one to make him stop.
We find our pleasures in different ways;
Its human nature to laugh and enjoy;
He’s found a way to make the most of life;
Treating his load like a favourite toy.
by Robbie Cheadle