The first time many heard of Mandela
Was in Trafalgar Square - Free Mandela.
Outside the South African Embassy
A constant call to release Mandela.
Day and night a well-used banner flying
Sometimes only one to cry – Mandela.
Other times crowds like angry waves threatened
To sweep into the building – Mandela.
And I David at first a spectator
Joined in the chant - Free Nelson Mandela.
Richie Havens at Woodstock sang freedom
A generation listened, O freedom.
‘Sometimes I feel like a motherless child’
Fingers drumming on fretboard, O freedom.
A sea of faces in all directions
From warfare deliver us, O freedom.
Imprinted in our minds for a lifetime
The rhythm of resistance, O freedom.
And I David a whole ocean away
Raised both my arms high, freedom O freedom.
The scraping of metal when locks open
Groaning of hinges as barred gates open.
Warders’ key chains sound like church bells pealing
Thud of the heavy door not left open.
Bolted noisily preventing return
Release out into the fresh air open.
Whispers and birdsong audible once more
Exposed to freedom senses reopen.
And I David one of today's number
Rush forwards with unfettered arms open.
Thirty eight years the path to retirement
Years of little interest in retirement.
Always celebrating an achievement
Quick to dismiss all thoughts of retirement.
Years of respect and co-operation
Free of implied threats of forced retirement.
Good service and loyalty provided
No reason to rush into retirement.
But I David scenting burning coffee
Jumped at the chance of early retirement.
David Subacchi lives in Wales where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool and he has 4 published collections of his English Language poetry First Cut (2012), Hiding in Shadows (2014), Not Really a Stranger (2016) and A Terrible Beauty (2016). His work has also appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.
You can find out more about David and his work at http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi