Nelson Mandela is Dead


Twenty-seven years in prison,

He was surfing on a wave of tension and hate,

He was caught in his prime,

Allowed to make a famous speech, and then

Put away for twenty-seven years. 


Twenty-seven years is a long, long time.

Itís a long, long time out of prison,

A long time for a free man, but

Twenty-seven years in prison,

Where your dignity is constantly assailed,

Where you do not know what will happen,

Where you enjoy none of the freshness

That comes from doing what you want to do,

Where you are confined, in prison,

Where you are constantly called upon

To retain your dignity and your sanity.


One day the prison was removed, and

Nelson Mandela was free, and

He was elected President of South Africa, and

Awarded the Nobel Prize, and


Then one day he died, and

People mourned him and

Strained to tell his story.


--December 3, 2013