POETRY

It’s The Africa In Me

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It’s the Africa in me 
that loves the forest in which I wake, 
that sees and hears its fauna and flora and revels in their names. 

It’s the Africa in me 
that you hear in my spirited conversation, 
that shakes my shoulders as I sob my sorrows 
or laugh my insides, inside-out. 

It’s the Africa in me 
that keeps me reading poetry deep into the night 
and causes me to stroke the sinuous muscles of my striped, domestic cat 
and kiss the muzzle of my gently nickering horse. 

It’s the Africa in me 
that has taught me how to love 
and patches up the fragments of my soul after each disaster 
and renews my zeal and increases my understanding
in preparation for the next onslaught. 

It’s the Africa in me 
that has carried me 
from my first baby breath 
and will support me to my very last. 

I am truly a child born of Africa. 

(August 1999)

by Diana van den Berg

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