Ain’t no sunshine
Bill Withers crooned
perchance an anthem for
today’s state of being

Not all that well known
is his Better Off Dead
describing an alcoholic
venturing towards suicide

Better off on the streets
in a time of isolation
a couple’s view it is
of various shelters
they’ve been through

a stabbing
a rape they hear
taps or pipes stolen
food sparse
overcrowded too
they tell the interviewer

Officials would differ
in the usual way
with the usual responses
in these unusual times
(no elections in sight yet)

Better off on the streets
they ran away
conditions bad
they don’t have
a choice they say

They both have Grade 12
can’t find work out there
Johannesburg way
their shelter from the storm
is being on the streets

Better off

Lockdown Day 34 is it, out Africa South way.