When I Am Old

When my beard is long and white

And I make people repeat themselves

To the point of shouting

I would like to say things that matter

And leave behind small talk

And observations drained of humour

I would prod you with my inevitable walking stick

Should you mention the dull weather

And yank you by the neck with its crook

Should your ears fail to hear to drink

From the well of my knowledge

Which will be as deep as space

And home to as many stars

I would also like to be a burden

To get in the way

To slow people down

To shout obscenities at parties

And drink too much

Perhaps strip naked

Get the other guests recoiling

And shacking their heads

And turning away their children

I know the toddlers would accept me

They who still feel at home in their own skin

They who have yet to learn

Everything it took me so long to forget

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Troydon Wainwright is a philosopher and Reiki Master based in Cape Town. Born with mild cerebral palsy and dyslexia, Toydon learnt to write as a way to overcome the barriers his dyslexia placed in front of him. “I wrote my way out of dyslexia,” said Troydon, “or at least to the point where reading and writing aren’t a problem anymore.” During the day he works as an educational facilitator (someone who helps special needs students cope academically and become more independent). At night he dedicates his time to writing. He has won a Nova award for his short story, The Sangoma’s Storm, and been a feature poet at the Off the Wall poetry readings in Cape Town and at Cape Town Central Library. Three of his poems were also included in the anthology Africa’s Best New Poets. He has also been published in the South African Literary journal, New Contrast. One of his Facebook posts, in which he took a stand against racism, has gone viral (http://www.troydonwainwright.com/when-love-went-viral/).

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