by Stanley J. Tarver


I saw you Africa,
   as I wiped the sleep from my eyes
   and heard your voice through my radio speakers.
And you surprised me, last December,
   as you danced for me in the snow
   and glanced back at me
              with your warm brown eyes,
              and your soulful smile.

Your appearance at dinner last night
   was most timely,
   as you teased my tongue
   with your spicy seasoning
   and licked my earlobes
              with your clever expressions
              and rhythmic inflections,
   painting life as only an artist can see it.

I saw you Africa,
   and felt your warm bosom
   press close to me like a mother's caress,
   and soothing my soon to be scars
   from the beatings of an alien world.
But sometimes when I think I've almost forgotten you,
   and you, me,
   you appear before me
   and bathe me with you time-honored perfection
   and blanket me with color,
   and life, and spirit, and determination,
              but most of all,
              the sheer knowledge of your presence.

*This poem appeared in the April 1981 issue of the Sakura Review the Literary Magazine of the International House in New York.