Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

Everything Is Different In Africa - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Everything is different in Africa.
Strange stars by night look down,
And threepence is called a tickey
And a florin’s like half-a-crown.

Everything is different in Africa;
Hardly a thing’s the same,
And any that are are mostly
Called by a different name.

“Everything is different in Africa,”
I thought - till my gaze did roam
By chance to some words familiar
That seemed like a voice from Home.

And still as the train rolled onward
They sang through my brain all night,
While the dust of the Kalahari
Sat on me, fine and white.

For they spoke of a strap I clung to
In a train I used to know,
And Waterloo in the rush-hour
In a time that’s long ago.

“Do not throw out of the window” -
Thus went the haunting tune,
Like a magical incantation,
Like a druid’s mystic rune -

“Bottles or other articles” -
Never such deed be mine! -
“Likely to injure anyone
Working on the line!”

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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