by Stanley Steely
(after the graduation ceremony from Hillcrest High School)
I walk the empty streets
of my hometown for the last time.
It’s 1 AM with the black sounds
of night all around.
The rare street lamp spreads it’s
dim pool of pale light like
the crescent moon’s slim beam.
Night sounds of owl, cricket,
mosquito buzz and the rustle of some
creature in the roadside grass,
lull my soul but can’t soothe.
My heart cries out to join the tears on my face.
In a few hours I’ll jet away from Africa
to a distant land. A place my parents know
and long for, but strange/fearful to me.
My childhood is over; mourning the early morning
sunrays that will illuminate a new turned page.
The smell of rain damp earth, mixed with sweet
Mango and Flame Tree scent, overwhelms me.
The distant drumming of villagers dancing
the night away, their fires flickering
through the minutes till time is gone,
ignites a burst of emotion and suddenly
my Bata’s beat a staccato on the hard tarmac
as I break into a desperate run…
I’ll not walk this road again.