The Girl On the Tarmac

One sunny day, when the air was hot, she lay on the tarmac
felt the heat burn her face, while the gravelly bits stuck
to her cheek and poked her knees.
‘Come to eat,’ her mother hollered.
‘Oh, not again,’ she replied.

She turned on her back and watched the hard sky
blind her eyes with its brilliant white blueness.

How come mothers know so much?
Why are boys stronger than girls?
How can we live forever in heaven?

The sun beat down and she frowned at the sky,
(the brightness forced tears to escape each lid).
She made plans for the future (as she always did).
She would try to marry and she would not give birth (because of the pain)
and she would adopt and save the orphans of the world and
she would live with her parents and sleep in her room with the pale yellow walls.

And she would paint masterpieces
and she would not smoke, and she would abstain and she would
never do drugs and she would always pray
and she would be an agile gymnast and she would learn ballet
and she would always live in her room
with the pale yellow walls.

She stood up, with the sun still imprinted on her brain,
dusted her clothes, wiped her hands on her shorts
and walked into the house to eat her lunch.

People often wonder what happened to that girl.

Posted in Poetry.


  1. OOOk…
    Answers to the Girl On the Tarmac’s questions:
    1)Why am I here?
    It depends, really. Is she being all new-age philosophical, or is she being deliciously literal?To me, it’s simple: her parents took Marvin Gaye’s advice and got it on. If she means why is she on the tarmac specifically,I really don’t know, cos a hot day+tarmac+shorts=murder, girlfriend.

    2)How can my mother love me so much?
    when a woman breastfeeds her newborn, she gives off hormones that engender feelings of closeness and affection aka love. So the mother can’t help but love Tarmac Girl, despite Tarmac Girl’s inability to see that Sun+Tarmac+Shorts=murder.

    3)Why are boys stronger than girls?
    Well, that’s a hectically un-pc generalisation to make.Men have upper-body strength, and women tend to be stonger in their hip and leg region. Women carry babies and give birth, which makes them damn strong. It seems that Sun+Tarmac+Shorts=heat stroke and disorientation in Tarmac Girl.

    4)How can we live forever in heaven?
    We just do. Heaven is synonymous with ideas of eternity and an endlessly happy, new life. Tarmac Girl has asked a rhetorical question; children know these things without having to ask them. I’m thinking Tarmac Girl is in the throes of death; Thus:

    Sun+Tarmac+Shorts=disillusionment, tarmac-fused skin and a slow, painful death…

  2. 🙂

    I was in one of those moods…you know, where you feel like life is a window on the 11th floor of a flat in central Durban and all you wanna do is jump out of it…
    Sorry, I sound like Tarmac Girl now:)
    btw i was a Tarmac Girl once…class one, Clarence Road primary – sat on the tarmac (in my white school dress minus pants) in the sun during the lunchbreak ‘cos all the shady spots were taken… 🙂

  3. Boys never dream like tarmac girl – do you know what was in me head at that age – Ninja Turtles! my life was consumed with protecting Gummi Berri juice from Duke Igthorn and clogging my neighbours gutter with stones ( they grounded me from going to the circus for that – evil parents!) as i grew older the theme of gummi bears was replaced with the nonsense lyrics of Informer, come on, we all know the words
    Informer you no say daddy me Snow me I’ll go blame
    A licky boom boom down
    Detective mon said daddy me Snow me stab someone down the lane
    A licky Boom Boom Down.
    never did understand what he was on about, or what he was smoking… right – girl on tarmac.. yeah 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *