As we hurtled along the road to Aliwal North I saw this chimney-piece standing desolate in the veld and these thoughts came to me.
Standing bleakly in a field, a chimney-piece bears witness,
A mute testimony that once a home stood there.
Smoke curled up that chimney with oven stoked beneath
So that the smell of baking filled the house
And love and comfort sheltered those who lived there.
It was a place where people cared and children laughed
And listened rapt while songs were sung
And stories told around the fire.
The walls that once held back the wintry gales are gone
And now the haunting wind moans and sings unhindered
On the desolate hearth.