Cans and Mandela

just a can          unopened
on a road to
ficksburg and understanding
although I knew
the history and the politics
how the past meets the present
remembering the young man in Soweto
telling me about hope and Mandela
how things would be different
remembering my mother back in Canada
at home, alone
and how far away I was from her
with the escarpment as a backdrop
I took the can
unfurled my Swiss army knife
and reminisced…

~ John Bernard Bourne

John Bernard Bourne was born in Toronto and has lived in various places, including the Northwest Territories, South Korea and Holland Landing. He has travelled extensively through North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Beginning his career as a singer/songwriter, he released The Voice Within in 1993 and After Tournier in 2007. His writings include the chapbook A Season Far Removed (1999) and In Search of Milton Acorn (2000), both published by Windigo Press. He has had non-fiction, poetry and prose appear in various publications around the world, including Macleans, Bywords, Stellar Showcase Journal, Ascent Review, Raven Poetry (Canada), Log in Seoul, The Korea Times (South Korea), Taj Mahal Review (India), Niederngasse (Switzerland), and has appeared in the anthologies Nuit Blanche: Poems for Late Nights (Royal Sarcophagus Society, 2007) and The Monster Book of Canadian Monsters (Colombo and Company, 2004). He currently lives and writes in Brockville, Ontario.

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