On the seventh day
Of the seventh month
In the seventh year of my elopement,
I heard your voice, Africa, calling.
Calling me by my name,
Yes, by the name my mother gave me.
I heard your call,
Not in susurrations,
But very loud and clear;
And I was thunderstruck, your
Voice delivering sweet songs
To my soul,
And your beauty, my heart's garment.
You called, not as a father,
But as a mother would,
With a voice so sweet and tender:
And so passionate that it gave me goosebumps.
And I realized that mother's milk
Is essential for a child,
And that man's first love is his home.
So at your call
I, like the prodigal son
Let go of my vanities
And yearned for my root.
And so I journeyed home -
Through the rainforest which
Had Nightingales singing for me
And the Giant Sequoia shading
The crickets and the African-beings
Were not left out - as they made my
Return a memorable one.
Oh, how I have missed you, my Africa!
How I have missed your rustic scent.
Your palm wine still tastes great,
Your garment as porraceous as ever,
And your sons have grown into men!
Pardon the mistake of my youth O dear mother
For your dudgeon is ephemeral,
And your mercies, sempiternal.