Image by Ante Hamersmit from Pixabay

May be…
[On being quizzed on why my verses seem
to be predominantly pessimistic]


O! God I kneel in prayer,
let optimism flow in my veins,
let me not be the one to paint in gloomy verse,
how I die to be infected with this fever,
O! God I try and fail, but may be first;
let me see Africa rising from the bottom of this dark pit,
rising purposefully from the ashes of human misery,
let me witness her taking strides, rising slowly like the sun,
O! God let me love Africa with all my heart,
let me fight no genocidal wars any more,
let me kill brothers and sisters no more,
let me see diverse ethnic groups proudly living together,
I’m tired, let me rest my tortured soul,
O! God give me strength, let these wounds heal,
let me see democracy taking root and flowering,
let me see senile power hungry dinosaurs dying,
let me steal a glimpse of vibrant blood gushing,
let me see poverty being massacred by this wealth of weapons,
O! God let optimism flow in my veins,
let me hear the jubilant cry of freedom,
let me see dignity, let me see lack of fear being restored,
let me see Africans steering Africa, Africa nursing Africans,
O! God, may be, may be optimism shall become me.


Boletilemang Gabokgatlhe is a poet, story weaver and social commentator who comes from Xhumo, a small village that lies along the River Boteti in Botswana. He works as a Human Capital Practitioner in Gaborone. Some of his writings have appeared in various magazines, newspapers and anthologies in Africa and beyond.

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