Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,

FOR MANDELA

RESTRAINT

Some eulogize him who will never learn
from words or deeds or what he did not do.
-Six window bars, a sea more grey than blue.
White choke dust lime pit, where bright sun would burn

necks, and in winter hands numb from wet cold.
Told him the son he did not know was dead.
He wept. Three decades sitting on his bed
he taught young comrades still his comrades old,

who walked with him to freedom. Heard his voice
stern gentle. Helped him build. He gave his power
away and let successors have their hour,
yet bound their wills to this most anguished choice.

He was prepared to put men in their grave
whom, once they dropped their weapons, he forgave.
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