She left when she was only five
too young to be responsible,
too young to feel any guilt.
The smell of a wooden cooking fire
and the black woman who brought
her up carrying her on her back
lingering, and taking her back
to Zimbabwe before she was five.
It was her white parents who brought
her here, being responsible
for the ethical traits which fire
her feelings of shame and guilt.
Her sensitivity to guilt,
inability to look back
without a conscience on fire
to times when she was only five.
To when she felt responsible
for all the injustices brought
to her beautiful homeland, brought
before she could know the guilt,
before she felt responsible.
Now she wants to take it all back
to way, way before she was five
to stamp out the raging fire:
way, way before the guns would fire
and young men in coffins be brought
home, after nineteen sixty-five.
Before duty had turned to guilt
way, way before the looking back
knowing who was responsible …
knowing who was responsible
for starting the raging fire.
If only she could take it back
and her birthplace be brought
to a sanity without guilt;
without Mugabe’s gang of five!
Put out the fire, be rid of the guilt,
be responsible for good times brought
back, to way before she was five.