(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Tango On Their Desks (Revised)

It was a book* about a little girl who escaped from
poverty by imagining she was a princess in disguise
that reminded me of my own games; starting work
as language editor of exam papers, I was Le Petit
Prince, come down to earth to meet the officials

Employed on Planet-Government-Service, led by an
affable language guru genie telling myriads of tales;
tea breaks resembled the Mad Hatter’s tea party &
I morphed into Alice in Wonderland surprised by her
strange colleagues, fleeing to the Library to lose

Herself in books, wondering how officials deal with
boring routines, writing my Government Service
Opera – officials dancing a tango on their desks
before drinking cups of tea, reading newspapers
with synchronised zeal…

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