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A Poem for Ramallah, by Tauriq Jenkins
22، Aug 2023

Madiba stands tall but alone in a place

Too far from the entrance

of where he is needed


He stands tallest here, in the world,

But the world cannot see him.


His words are of Palestinia, his blood is as red as the khufiya that greeted him as a warm hug from the neck of Arafat.


Yet, alone, his words stand with Ramallah.


They say for all time


“The people of South Africa are not free until the people of Palestine are free.”


Today, I walk to the statue and with my full heart say, you live now


with the people of Ramallah.


And we, of my country, the world, of every getto and every shack, of every house and every castle


will live with you and the people of Ramallah.


From this epicentre, we will greet the Gaza, and place you Rolihlalhla at the entrance.


We will place you across the West Bank and place you at the entrance


of every camp, and every check point,


of every liberation and resistance site.


My ancestors are here now. Mayibuye!


They have been here before.


Let us stay a while longer and make poems of resistance together that will give flow back to the River Jordan,


give release to the water underground —back to her people.


Let our tears greet the aquifers beneath us and


let our laughter play subterfuge


against gas canisters, barbed wire, tanks,


and let this creative and undeniable love


mesmerise the snipers’ scope


whose trigger hands will gently place down the weapon to join us in dance to the Derwish trance, where we all shall become humble again.


And with the prophets that run deep within our mutual veins


let’s walk barefoot across the landmines to the Red Sea, turning them, each one, into roses.


My ancestors are here now


With you, our most beloved Palestine.


Their hearts are your stone, they will throw with you.


As we did in Soweto, as they did in Langa, as we did on the Cape Flats, as they did in Salt River.


We will throw with you. We are in Apartheid, we are against Apartheid, only we can end it. Together.


I will throw with you. With all my heart and soul, I will throw with you.


Until we are both free.


Until we are free.


Until we are free.