Ode to a hero

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ON that 21st day, that year
Under the smiling Savannah sun
To Bona, I swear
Was born a son
Eager and kicking all the while
Mom and son, joyous faces split with smile
In the rustic terrain of Zvimba he played and toiled
A life both acute and demanding
A road both tough and taxing
In that haze was a seed planted
A mind so acute and yearning
Something had to, and it yielded
Today we gaze and wonder, surmise and wonder
Choose seats in the lap of life and learn
Today we honour and acknowledge, revere and admire
A man out of struggle, a man of victory
For he is a hero born, a legend in his time
To speak of his past is to dilute it
To speak of his youth is to dwell on a lesson in history
To speak of his education is to boast, and boast
To speak of his grace and finesse, is to stress the obvious, yet joyous
In 1980, so history and truth record
The valiant son ushered the house of stone
From the steely clutches of the thieving visitor
Gave it to the owner, whose blood and toil form the foundation
The house reverberated with joy and pleasure
The first step towards colonialism’s final erasure
He is the same man who led the march
Carrying the independence flame
Surrounded by dedicated and honourable brothers and sisters
And gave hope to the sick and tired, a hospital here and there, a clinic everywhere
And sought keenly the liberating light of sound education
For the downtrodden and oppressed, a university here and there, a school everywhere
For he is a hero born, a legend in his time
Even when the house of stone creaked at the edges, brother turning on brother
Sister pelting sister, children unsure what lay yonder
Even as the granary ran dry
Bereft of hope and saccour
Even as it rained dust
And the sun crisply baked the earth
And laughter became painful cries
He is the same man
Surrounded by dedicated and honourable brothers and sisters
Who brought peace to the parched land
And calmed the boiling tempers
With a helmsman’s calm hand
Quitened the raging tempest
And brought brother back to brother in a loving hug
And drew sister to sister in loving embrace
And the children watched, sure peace reigned, future secure
For he is a hero born, a legend in his time
On this 21st day, we stand in wonderment
We raise voices sonorously, in praise and acknowledgement
In dance we sway in celebration
The proud dance of a free nation
We walk steady and surely, purely
A nation sovereign and empowered
And shout to those who have ears to hear
And point to those who have eyes to see
Look Zimbabwe look
See Africa see
Gaze world gaze
Here stands the house of stone
Here stands the man, who has guided region and continent
Who has shaken the world
He is the same man
For he is a hero born, a legend in his time!
By Lovemore Lindo Chimaliro

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