Patrice Lumumba

Uncomplaining boy-child
Did you ever kneel beside
Your bed at night with
Dreams of the future, halo,
Inside your head, goals, grief blossoming-like-waves
To pray towards an-African-revolution

Flowing in your veins
All the great unanswered questions-of-your-country
Bright star found-in-a-water’s-lake
Your mother’s body
Was made out of sweet flowers
As she carried you-lotus-flower

Did you ever fall
In love with poetry, Shakespeare?
Earth, the dwelling place
Of the reflections of summer and winter clouds
Of the face of hell, the human family, the human condition
Of both heaven’s paradise and the mouths of youth

Did you ever smell incense burning?
Or was it just your own flesh, bits and pieces melting away
Was politics in your blood, flesh-and-bone?
I will remember you and weep tears of joy
Nations will remember you and weep tears of joy
Africa’s silver lining will remember you

And weep tears of joy
The world, material-wealth took you from us
And heaped a miracle-rising-upon us
Biko and Black Consciousness
The Rainbow Nation and the African Renaissance
The first female president of an African country

Patrice Lumumba, saint and saviour.
Patrice Lumumba, cadre, comrade, my brother, my father.
Patrice Lumumba, victor victorious in life and death.
Light spilled into, under, and over into the darkness.
A heart of stone to forgive and forget, a map, an atlas,
A geography of Africa through the lens.

And then astonishment for generations to come.

Abigail George is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated South African essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist.

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