My humble homage to Africa and to all Africans
Feizi M. Milani
I humbly come to meet you
yearning, eager, thirsty...
is there still room for me in your lap?
I grew up far from your caring eyes,
in other gardens have I played
I have fallen asleep at the whispering of other stories
little do I know of you
and little do you know of me...
Will you still have the patience to teach me?
throughout the world I searched for my path,
through far-off lands I journeyed,
other peoples, cultures and languages I came to know,
only to discover
that they were also born in your cradle
and are your children
and are my brothers and sisters...
will you still welcome me back home?
maybe you will not remember me
perhaps you will look at me and fail to recognize me,
it may well be that I look very different from your other offspring living with you,
my roots come from your sacred womb,
my heart beats in the same rhythm as your drums,
my nights were swung in your loving cradle
and my days, filled with your joyous presence,
my thirst was quenched with your gracious wellsprings,
and my hunger, allayed by your generosity,
my toddling began before you
and my first tears were shed on your soil...
I know I have been distant
when you needed me most,
I have pretended to be deaf
when you let out your wails,
I have alienated myself
when confusion prevailed at your home,
my compromising attitude
has prevented me from being side by side with my siblings...
will you still welcome me with your embrace?
one of your prodigal sons
behold him with your compassionate and understanding eyes,
lend out your warm and firm hand to him,
embrace him with your soft and comforting hug,
swing him in your cozy lap
and... forgive him,
with your loving and motherly heart...
your forgiveness I beseech
and for those among your other children who,
not having inherited your virtues,
oblivious of your being their true homeland,
deluded by their childish ignorance,
and inflamed by their adolescent arrogance,
have come back home,
not to thank you and glorify you,
but to disrespect and trample you,
hurt your children,
steal your riches,
destroy your gardens,
exploit your generosity...
forgive us all.
(I wrote this poem while visiting Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, back in 1999)