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Tell all the truth but tell it slant —

Success in Circuit lies

Too bright for our infirm Delight

The Truth’s superb surprise

— Emily Dickinson


In 1966, he stabbed Verwoerd,

the "architect of apartheid,” to death.

Crediting Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:

34,* he sought salvation, not in peace,

but in assassination’s sharp solution—

and, in a cruel judgment, drew life.


The ANC did not release him after

finagling its path to power;

he died in gaol, and so the circuit

closed, too bright for his infirm

delight, who’d trimmed the truth

down to the slanting of a knife.

I wasn’t surprised. Were you?

Some things we always knew.


*Matthew 10:34 (KJV): “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”


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