When I was a child, I spoke like a man.
I sang songs that spoke life into
The very core of my people.
I taught my lips to bless all that blessed me.
I am a child of the soil and my feet are firm and grounded.
My roots reach the core of Mother Earth and I can hear
Her gentle Lullaby calming my fears of the pending
Nomadic spiritual meander ahead.
Her voice seeps into my roots as she sings over me.
I am covered with the Mother’s Song.
Pilgrims from afar prune my zealous branches
As they inch past on their way to the unpromised land.
I allow men to step into my aura and sip my energy.
I allow women to impart to me wisdom of the oppressed
And I let them all bask in the scent of my blossoms
Of subtle mantras that glide out of my African lips.
My hair is long and wiry and imparts a history
Of ethnic pride.
I am a gentle soul,
My voice permeates generations and reverberates
Truth and tolerance.
I am new, old and talented.
I have no regrets for who I have become.
I am happy to be what I will become,
For I know I am on a path to fulfilment.
I am different from you.
I am different from all.
I have a face that is ready to smile
And brighten the dimmest of days.
I have known friends.
I have unknown friends.
I am judged by those who might never meet or know me.
I owe no explanation to anyone.
I breathe. I love. I cry. I bleed.
I am here.
Frank Malaba © 2010