Was A Meeting in Heaven Last Night
By Joseph Kaifala
Hear ye, Hear ye!
Did the town crier not pass through your town tonight?
There was a meeting in Heaven last night
What meeting do you speak of, Eyes of the Dead?
Chief Albert Luthuli was there
I said what meeting do you speak of, Messenger of our Ancestors!
Oliver Tambo was in attendance and he sat with Mandela
Chris Hani was there, too, and he sat at the feet of Old Luthuli
Ruth First and Joe Slovo were there!
Then the child Hector Pieterson walked in and sat with Ruth
What was said at the meeting dear wise one?
Chief Luthuli cleared his throat but his mouth remained sealed
Comrade Oliver folded his arms in an attempt to say something
But he leaned back and no words were spoken
Young Hani raised his hand to speak but quickly brought it down like a shy child
Joe and Ruth sat next to each other with their arms folded with chills
And all along Mandela sat with a mischievous smirk on his face
Whatever sealed the tongues of these roaring lions only the gods know!
At one point they all looked down towards where South Africa lies
At that moment one of the angels of God passed by
He mocked them and said: ‘That’s Mandela’s earth!’
There was silence still when the angel had spoken these words
Then Mandela spoke and he said:
'There they desecrate the land we gave them to live free
We carried their crosses, now they spill the blood of their brothers and sisters
How easily they forget that theirs was a battle Africa fought when no one else would
The Spear of the Nation that gave them freedom they now use to piece Africa’s side
It is the greatest betrayal of everything we built on that southern edge of a continent!'
Hear ye, Hear ye
When Mandela spoke these words the room was once again consumed by silence
Then the Old Chief began to cry as he sang, Ngosi sikelel iAfrica!
Oliver hearing his elder weep thus cried
A pool of water flowed down the face of young Hani
Our Mandela was again smirking and appeared not to be bothered
But after awhile he too had water dripping down his face
When they wiped their faces and rubbed their snouts
Mandela mumbled something that the Old Chief did not hear clearly
'What did comrade Mandela say,' he asked young Hani who sat leaning on the oldman’s right leg.
'He was worried about Tutu, Kathy, and others!'
Then they looked down and saw their living comrades and pitied them
Kathy and Tutu were huddled together in silence
Shivering from the goosebumps of bloody massacres at their door
When he saw this, the Old Chief’s heart became heavy with grief,
He arose and wandered off slowly
The others followed in similar manner
And they processed their way out of the room where they had sat for hours
So ended the meeting in heaven last night!
In : Poems
Tags: mandela "south africa" "there was a meeting in heaven last night" "joseph kaifala
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