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(25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)

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Under the shade of the big old oak tree

Under the shade of the old oak tree Jafta sit
and his mind wanders back as he reflects on his life
while the sun sets in the west.
He is overcome with sorrow to braking point,
he knows his time is running out and that the sun
of his own life is also setting
and that there is no return.

Life was so much easier
when he was stile younger,
yesterday is gone
and it will never return.

His eyes are weary and he looks downhearted,
he does not even see his beloved grassland
and does wonder why life does have to hurt so much?
He gazes into the setting sun and finds an answer
in the rainbow that appears after the storm.

His face is old and wrinkled
and his steps are much slower now.
He is begging for life and at this moment
his hand is stretched out
like the hand of a beggar
and he knows God and he belongs to Him
and He is his provider
like the vast plains of Africa feeds numerous animals
and since his childhood he has depended on God
like the old oak tree.

He started his life under the oak tree,
under the leave blanket he was born,
under the oak tree he grew up,
played and worked and served his King
and like the oak he was assured that God does exist.
At this place he asked Mita to marry
and the oak was the first to meet his only son.
His parents are buried near by
and now his wife is also resting here.

“Old oak tree, ” he asked the tree: “How long does one mourn?
How long will my heart be broken? ”

and as if it could hear leaves fell to the ground
as if the tree itself did grieve

Jafta closed his eyes and in this heart he did know
that some day he will be laying in the shade of his beloved oak tree
while the antelope will still roam the plains of Africa.

Submitted: Sunday, December 08, 2013
Edited: Monday, December 09, 2013


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Comments about this poem (A mother’s work is never done by Daleen Enslinstrydom )

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  • Howard 'the motivational poet' Simon (12/27/2013 12:18:00 PM)

    A rich reflective river that reminds us of our mortality. Well done my friend!

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  • Susan Lacovara (12/9/2013 9:35:00 AM)

    Thank you for the tender, beautiful look, at a life lived....I have long felt a connection with the majesty of trees, and their unspoken compassion. This was a lovely write..I invite you to explore my poems as well. PEACE

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