To Doris

She said I come from a land flanked by the warmer seas
A flat brown land that stretch for miles with hardly any trees
In my dreams I see the big game parks and the open plains I see
'Oh' Africa my Africa I hear you calling me.

I hear the male lion cough and roar and the wild hyena scream
And the Natives dance before my eyes so real to me they seem
I hear them singing in the night and their drumming I too hear
And Africa close to my heart though miles away from here.

Doris accent is a give away as accents often are
You'd know that to get to this great Land that she's had to travel far
Her lovely South African accent one never should mistake
The migrant may live far from home but ties that bind are hard to break.

A farmer's daughter from South Africa her life story ought be told
A woman close to eighty years though she doesn't look that old
A teenager in the thirties the hard life she has been through
Her only brother a prisoner of war in Europe in world war two.

Her ill mother convinced her son had died lost the will to live on
And he returned home to the tragic news that his mum was dead and gone
There's sorrow blood and tears in war and tragedy as well
And for mums with sons on battlefields life must be living hell.

She raised five sons in South Africa and one died at twenty five
Brain damaged by measles as a child she helped him to survive
And Doris with great sadness says that her son's life was far too brief
There's ups and downs in life she says and there's happiness and grief.

With her son and daughter in law she lives east of Melbourne now by road off 'One Tree Hill'
A woman from a far Country and suppose she always will
Feel homesick for her home Country, I love Australia she say
But my homeland is South Africa the brown Land far away.

by Francis Duggan

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