They Said It

When our grandfathers said
a man does not quench his thirst
with water that he has begged for
they had us in mind so that we would
never go begging for things that we need.

Our fathers refused to heed the words
and went on the junket from London,
Rome, Bonn and Washington to beg
for all that we need to keep our
souls together.

If we had listened to the words
that were handed down to us
we would not have allowed our
sons and daughters to go to sleep
today without food or water.

That is why hunger and thirst
has eaten the children in Addis,
and the the young ones in the Cape
continue to die because we cannot
provide them with remedy for their illnesses.

by Francis Kokutse

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