Mandela…a poetic tribute

They say never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes

But what happens when the man has neither shoes nor socks to walk in?

Would you willfully walk that mile?

Would you accept all adversity with a frown and a smile?

Would you still run the race against racism with grace and style?

Would you work wearily to weave a tapestry of diversity and shared fate

Against those who continue to practice apart-hate?

            Mandela

Would your heart shine bright when deprived of sunlight?

            Mandela

Would your spirit sing a song of liberation when it’s denied instrumentation?

            Mandela

As they tried at Robben Island to rob you of your soul

You literally rolled Rholihlahla with each punch as you crunched in your hole

We stand here because of you

We breathe freely because of you

And you walked the long walk to freedom with no shoes and socks

So that we will not have to

            Mandela

You walked for those without homes and even the land-dwellers

            Mandela

You, the son of Mother Earth

Father to a nation

Grandfather to our future

Brother to African liberation

From Cape Town to Kinshasa you led like no other

To remind us to put our arms down and hands forward to embrace one another

            Mandela

Because of you the world is encouraged to up rise like Soweto

So-we-too rise above the mentality of the ghetto

To claim the universe as our humble home

Overseas maligned media would disgrace the Madiba

But we saw through their lies as we looked at tattered posters into your eyes

Your hope in humanity helps us fly Tran-skeis

And when peace did not work on the path for a free way

You chauffeured us on the highway of Umkhonto we sizwe

And when so many believed that there was still no way

Your perseverance and piety led all of us nobly to the Nobel in Norway

And so we will make peace our prize

And we will walk on this path of freedom with our shoes on and heads held high

In a world where courage and pride can be hard to find like a Black Pimpernel

Because YOU have walked this earth Madiba, the future for all humanity bodes well

Mandela!

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