Initiation

 

Grand baobab in the desert

standing with outstretched branches under the scorching sun

creating around itself

a shadowy place .

Hither stood children like sprouts

Dark skin, glistering sweat

Out of the old white drapes

skinny arms skinny legs

big eloquent eyes filled

with light, with anticipation

 

on one side

seated on an elevated platform, in guards post

the old man looks at the horizon

cloaked again with echoing old white

hands resting on his cane connecting the earth and the sky

 

The train of kids

awaiting in silence, the opening of the baobab trunk

not knowing what awaits, inside

after the snaky entrance

 

Torrid dunes

sand grains swirl around.

Amidst the lot , a little girl

anxiously grasp the hand of another one

sister don’t let go of my hand

 

And hence the ceremony start

the trunk opens

and one after the other

the children pass

to themselves, they muse

how can this trunk contain all of them

Truly, the womb of the tree was gigantic

but their number was enormous still

 

There and thence they enter

some with courage, some with wonder

 

Wanderer of the desert they are

bearers of Africa

with a common destiny

each a different path

sons and daughters ,

from the womb of the land you are born

nourished by the sap of the tree of life

your spirit will grow and expand with each passage

and in this expansion

you will become

your own continent