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(1957/01/09 / BURGERSFORT (Leeufallei farm or Ga- Makwakwasi))

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The Matriarch

The launch pad was high by the bravery of the matriarch
Certain about the arduous road she had taken
The only one that leads to the last mile
When the ululations would transcend the boundaries of Africa into the rest of the world

The Matriarch, by her own resolve she meant to take it to the hilt
No matter what happens,
How many obstacles she had to endue
She knew some of them would be thorns if not land mines and stepping stones
Some hills and valleys she had to traverse over would have kindness
She would have water to wet her throat and shade to rest with one eye open
In time she would be re-enacted to march on despite the haunting bleak

Little did she know that she would be invisible in the history to come
Little did she know that sunset may be perturbed by a dark cloud
Little did she anticipate anything bitter by the dawn of democracy
When the love of her life would abandon her in the battle field amidst the spiralling smoke
That’s when she realised that the battle was over
To her everything could be lost except the baton
She could not and wouldn’t give it over her bosom

She loves her rose garden beyond every ugly thing on earth
A strong stem of the corolla and the colourful petals
That was she and her children, the downtrodden of South Africa
They called her mother Africa and brought themselves fervour in the bleak winter
When some of them succumb she saw them
Despite the hurt she held her tears against the menace of unkind winds in the Atlantic Ocean
Despite the pain of oppression she held her tears against the drowning sound of the Apartheid aeroplane
Despite the length of uncertainty she held on to her resolve against the spite of the apartheid masters

The end of Apartheid became a reality by the encroachment of the colossus
Her beloved comrade during the bleak and shiny moments
Perturbed by the simultaneous encroachment of the black cloud from within the titanic
That brought unbearable pain to the matriarch and the colossus
The wedge was within and extremely cold
Behold, the warmth came by stoicism of the years of degradation
Soon the focus was steadied by the love of humanity
Beyond the infatuation of the early years, the struggle tears
And the sombre love of the tolerance

Finally the time for the colossus to depart had dawned when the white carriage had long arrived
It happened under the shadow of the matriarch
Evoking the nostalgia of the years of infatuation, sombre love and the fight
Perhaps that’s the nudge for the true remembrance of the bravery exploits of the matriarch

Submitted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, December 17, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Tribute to Winnie Madikizela Mandela

-


NNkuna,15 December 2013

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