Beloved Country, Endless Journey Poem by Frank Bana

Beloved Country, Endless Journey

from one ocean to another
the struggle for human progress
continues on its journey
towards the endless sky

2007, nearly over
20,000 homicides
childless mothers
weeping for the stolen lives

50,000 girls and women raped
stolen bodies
damaged lives
300,000 deaths from AIDS
the beloved country cries

brave and unforgotten ones
have brought this country back to one
Papa Mandela you all have met
now you know Lucky Dube too

but not the men who carjacked him
as he dropped off his sons
as if he were a stranger
unhuman to them

Gauteng, the unploughed fields
Cape Town's windy shores
Kwazulu hills so green and low
the feet of the Maluti mountains
draped in shame and snow

? ? , ? ? ? babies born
to HIV and pain
1.2 million orphans
crying to the silent wall

imagine the death of a single child
imagine if we lose them all

that long, unending journey
from slavery through prison
surviving torture all the way
up to the gates of freedom

come so far, from mbaqanga
to liberation song
cut down by bullets in the blink
of a man who was his brother
before the world went wrong

there's time to touch the golden shores
of a country loved so well
refusing all the turns to hell
remembering the starting place
and what they started for.


Notes on data:
Homicides (women and men) and rapes (grossly under-reported) - from national statistics.
Deaths and children orphaned due to AIDS - UN estimates based on national sources.
Numbers of babies born with HIV - unavailable, inevitably in the tens of thousands at current adult prevalence and treatment rates.

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