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Nelson Mandela

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Below is the poem entitled Nelson Mandela which was written by poet Tricia Lucas-Clarke. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Nelson Mandela

We have never met, but
I first heard about you, when I was young.
Good, bad
I’m not sure.
Locked away for years,
Hidden.
My friends never said a word,
We were just children, fed, clothed;
Maybe no one had told them about your land
Or, they did not comprehend.

I heard songs, 
Saw protests and placards.
I did not fully understand,
But I do remember;
The anger, the despair.
South Africa House 
An iconic place.
Outside, everyone gathered to
“Cry Freedom”.

On my 25th Birthday
You were headline news, memorable;
Free.
We talked about you at home.
Still no word from my friends back then
Did they know how you had suffered,
What you stood for.
I don’t see them now, but
I still have the paper from the day you were released.

Twenty years on,
I’m standing on the step
Where you once stood. Walking,
Where you had trodden.
I cannot believe I am here.
The iconic place.
Momentarily, I close my eyes 
Pray.
But you don’t appear and, anyway,
You do not know who I am.

Or, maybe you do.
Not me, but all those like me
Who want freedom and change;
Admire your dignity and calm
And now we wait, knowing
Although you will soon be gone
You will leave us all with hope.
We can work together.
I sit
Talk about you with my children,
My friends.
We never met, but
We wait.

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