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They Left so Abruptly

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They Left so Abruptly

They Left so Abruptly

(for the countless South Africans, of all colours, who dedicated their lives for freedom and democracy)

the valiant ones
countless
many known
many more nameless

the truest sons and singers
husbands and poets
lovers and wives
daughters and farmers
workers and sisters
brothers and friends

they left so abruptly
with quiet pride
steely courage
gentle dignity

they left so abruptly
leaving us our tomorrows
brighter
hopeful
filled with promise

they left so abruptly
so that we may breathe
the breath of liberty
the air of freedom
the warmth of justice

they left so abruptly
leaving with us their parting gift

freedom
inkululeko
swatantrata
liberte
azadi
vhudilangi
libertad

they left so abruptly
yet we remember them all
today
in the days that slipped away
and in the many more that we await

they left so abruptly
yet they remain
hewed into our memories
etched in our consciences
engraved in our hearts
they left so abruptly
and yet they endure
with us
within us
now and forever more


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