by | Dec 15, 2007 | Poetry | 0 comments

It’s Christmas here in Afrika,
But you wouldn’t really know,
There is no old time festive spirit,
With no chance of any snow,

As night falls I see them gather around the fire,
They are strangely not so full of woe and need,
I eye these troops I’ve trained and pushed,
And indeed they are a special breed,

Darkened, shiny faces all,
With great big widening grins,
Teeth as white as any glistening snow,
As they start to hum their hymns,

Soon clapping, laughing, dancing too,
Spontaneously break out,
I’ve no idea what they sing now,
But it’s happy so I too clap and shout,

I’m dragged up off my chair like log,
And forced to dance their jig,
I make a mess, I feel a fool,
But cheers and claps are what they give,

Such hardship these men have known,
Their sorrow caused by hostilities,
Husbands, wives and children lost,
But still they manage to smile with glee,

I know someday I’ll leave these men,
And will have to say my goodbyes,
Their families with such strong bonds,
Just thinking of this fills my eyes,

Twice I’ve come, and twice I’ve gone,
And many friends I’ve lost along the way,
But I know that this last time that I went,
Would be the last time I would ever stay,

Many years have passed, since those days,
But each year in late December,
I raise my glass each Christmas day,
My private toast, as I remember.

(1987 – 2007)


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