THE BATTLE - A POEM FOR YOUTH DAY, SOUTH AFRICA, a poem by Lesley Claire King, South Africa
The Battle – A Poem for Youth Day
I am too young to remember
Yet I have inherited this.
I played no part as an innocent child,
But I must face the consequences.
Because the wounds have not healed.
We try to make it better,
But the hurt, the bitterness, runs so deep.
Sometimes it feels like we’re fighting a losing battle.
It is an undeserved part that we play
In trying to undo the injustice.
It is a burden, a sorrowful load
That we never asked to carry on our shoulders.
As the youth of the new millennium
We do not have the experience, the memories
To guide or hinder us on our journey –
We see the world through untainted eyes.
And yet we feel it, we feel it every day.
We sense the anger and the pain.
The blood spilt has dyed society,
It is a dark shadow, always in the back of our minds.
And yet, there is hope;
A light shines that cannot be put out.
It has burned throughout the dark night of the past,
And continues to give courage to the youth today.
Because to those who are brave enough,
To those who know that they must stand up and fight,
The future has been given –
They are the inheritors of the rainbow nation.
The journey will not be an easy one,
Its nature is such that it will not be over quickly.
But as soldiers we accept the challenge –
Together we stand, together we can be victorious.
We accept the past as part of our history,
Yet we do not live by it.
Forming new links and relationships every day,
We find strength in our shared humanity.
As children of Africa, united,
The burden becomes lighter.
The future has been handed to us
And it is a bright one.