Southern African Soul

We left before the Jacaranda season
Before the first rains of summer
When the chill lay on the ground
Before the Petunia baskets started to break into bloom at the Harare Show.
When the dust was dry upon the veldt
And before the warm southern breeze started to heave its breath over the land.
And my heart broke as the plane took off from the runway
And the sobs in my chest could not be stilled
As I looked out of tear-washed eyes for a last glimpse of my beloved birth place,
And I turned away and cursed the day
I flew away
A heavy hold took grip of my heart
And there it remained.
She is gone this African child of ours,
We have lost her to the steel grey Northern skies.
And my spirit longed for my place
The place I belonged
And the home I that I had left
And the vacant space that I once occupied stayed when I was gone.
Now I stand beside a different flag
And have learnt new songs
But look into my eyes and see what I have seen
Cut open my heart
There it resides
In a little corner
It is with me.
It’s is me!
You will see it
My southern African soul.
She comes in dreams
Taps me on the shoulder
And wraps me in her warmth.
And when I think I am alone
she whispers to me.
“Don’t worry child, although you have wandered a little too far
You are not beyond my reach.
You belong to me as I belong to you
Because you were given to me
when you were born.
And through my sadness, my loneliness, my alienation
I am content, broken yet whole
It is my strength
It is my truth
“Thula, my child,” she says “Lala now.
I am with you still and always will be.”
And she lulls me to my slumber
And I dream I am there still.

Cyndi Barker
Dec 2016