The Archbishop Chairs The First Session

By Ingrid De Kok

On the first day after a few hours of testimony the Archbishop wept. He put his grey head on the long table of papers and protocols and he wept.
The national
and international cameramen filmed his weeping, his misted glasses, his sobbing shoulders, the call for a recess.
It doesn’t matter what you thought of the Archbishop before or after, of the settlement, the commission, or what the anthropologists flying in from less studied crimes and sorrows said about the discourse, or how many doctorates, books and installations followed, or even if you think this poem simplifies, lionizes romanticizes, mystifies.
There was a long table, starched purple vestment and after a few hours of testimony, the Archbishop, chair of the commission, laid down his head, and wept.
That’s how it began.

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