He died with his boots on
Ben Kies did we hear
from a colleague back then
some 30 years ago

some 30 years ago
Grand Apartheid still
on the statute books

He died with his boots on
defending freedom fighters
out Worcester way

Out Worcester way
a trialist remembers him
as more than a lawyer
a revolutionary he says

a revolutionary he says
as do others assembled
of this Trafalgar High teacher
banned as were many
from the school classroom

Putting a non-racial non-sexist
and anti-colonial stamp
on his contribution to
the liberatory struggle here
and the world over

(Later I hear on SAFM radio
talk around a united Africa
names like Nkrumah Nyerere
even Mbeki are bandied about
and I ponder the state we are in)

He died with his boots on
though our trialist here
questions that 2nd cup of tea
that only BM Kies had

recalling the poisoning
of Dullah Omar
and countless others
(remember Siphiwo Mthimkhulu)

He died with his boots on

A Reconciliation Day is spent at the BM Kies Memorial Celebration.