When I was young, in dark Africa
I used to think it was folk tale, that
The world was round, and,
Rolled like the soccer balls
Our bare hardened feet kicked.
Who could have told me it was real, when
All I saw was the cloudy horizon
Marking the end of my world, with
Baroque mountain ranges,
Sagging clouds, and a peeping sun.

The Almighty blessed me, watered my ground
I grew up and His Angels took me
To the other side of a world I only dreamt of,
Escaping from the daily death
From the monotony of grief.
They died, everyday, before my teary eyes,
Brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, all of them.
They said it was this curse, AIDS,
Torturous, with a parching vengeance,
Wantonly plucking away, vernal roses
Leaving deep trails of sorrowful tears.

My soul bleeds, my heart mourns
For the children of Africa, orphaned, ignored
Malnourished, their dreams pitch black.
I pray to the great God above
To spare them the pain, the tears.
Just give them the blessing of hope
Listen to the harmonies of their souls
Moisten their chapped lips,
Just, if you could, love their emptying souls.

They have dreams too, big and small, but
They don't matter no more, indignant fantasies,
Their indefatigable talents die in their sleep
The songs in their souls, furtive melodies.
Content with their tainted dis-symmetry,
They are swallowed in the obvious perfidy,
Bottomless, these gallant soldiers
Disarmed by fate, paying for the sins of their fore’s
Brave warriors, drowning in suffuse poverty.