We Are Leaving Cape Town in the Morning

Tomorrow we are going to Kruger National Park. To see animals. And then, to Johannesburg where we will visit the street where my grandfather lived when he left Lithuania so many years ago.

I have never
felt so white before.
Even though
of course I am
a White Jew
I’ve passed for mixed
much of my life,
poor man’s Angela Davis
here there is
so much more You’re White
conversation and I
have never spent this
much time thinking
about white.

Shireen Badat new friend
I do not know her well
said stop reading books
about South Africa.
Reading books is what
I know. Just feel
she said. You’ll understand
better that way.


We are sad to leave.
Even knowing for sure
we will return.
One of those
Big Places. Places
you can’t help
but love.

Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. Your first verse made me think of a Black friend who visited me in my small, very white hometown. She said she felt like a spot. I wonder if the xenophobia this campaign has revealed is because some white people in the US are starting to think about white?

  2. “poor man’s Angela Davis” – this breaks my heart – I don’ know why except that there is nothing impoverished about you or A.D. – but I know what you mean and are describing.

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