Here’s Robben Island, where he waited
for the stink to grow so horrid
they would line up for new ways.
a city that fouled the letters in its name.
But not any more.
Here the hospital he lies in,
while Death takes off his hat and,
out of respect, grants him a short parole.
There the players he co-opted,
Saying “You work for us now;
Your uniforms will be white and black.”
The 20th Century dies when he dies,
Its greatness and its horrors shoveled in together.