Published January 1st, 2023
by Ladi Mabela
(Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa)
There it stood, big and bold
Looking over all the other trees of the forest
The tree older than my grandparents
The tree that sheds wisdom through its leaves
It has shaded many through turbulent weather
Given comfort to strangers
There is peace under the baobab tree
You keep on growing baobab, maybe you want to reach the clouds
Man has tried to cut you down, but you stand rooted deep in the soil
With fire they have tried to burn you down
They are amazed because you keep restoring to your former glory
Your glory surpasses them all, those that seek to end your existence
They have tried to bulldoze you and got puzzled
Under the baobab tree I become whoever I wish to be
For that moment in time, I feel invisible and safe
Protected by the branches of the queen of the forest
Her queer strength comes from the soil
Her shade provide shelter to many creatures
She is the big tree that guards the forest
She provides refuge and refuses to fall asleep
She will keep her eyes open for many centuries to come
Long may she rise
Long may she lead
May the rain keep watering her roots
And may the sun give her the rays she needs for her reign
Ladi Mabela is a free-spirited adventurer who finds inspiration in the simplest things in life. She is a scientist by profession. Some of her work can be found in the Poet's Choice Magazine book collections.
This poem is included in Poetry World #5, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.
Previously published in Africa Poetry Magazine:
The Song of the Evening Harvest
by Sola Ajibogere
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