By Iain Muir
The buildings crumble, neglected.
Rubbish lies in the streets.
I stare through the window, dejected,
While the cab driver grumbles and bleats.

The roads are potholed, a minefield.
We zig-zag to save the car’s shocks:
Only drunks would drive straight in this town!
We hit one – the vehicle rocks!

I’ve come home this last time, a requiem
To pack up, and tell friends goodbye.
I’m sure that my new life’s a good thing,
So why do I just want to cry?

I can make far more money in Europe,
Buy things I have ne’er before seen.
But money’s just money, gadgets junk.
My heart lives back here, where it’s green.

In a land where Saturday’s braii day,
When friends meet to burn meat and drink.
To talk, and solve all the world’s problems,
Without even pausing to think.

Where children can run in wide spaces,
And shout, and carouse, and be free.
Where parents know each other’s faces,
And don’t worry who strangers might be.

A land where the people are friendly,
Where you’re met with a hand and a grin,
Where the doors to the houses are open,
And "whenever you’re ‘round, just pull in!"

Where the people are friendly and caring,
Where they all stick together, make a plan.
Where they do what they can for each other,
And will help anyone, if they can.

A place of great natural beauty:
Hard granite, dry grasses, hot sun,
Waterfalls, dry river beds, dirt roads,
Bush tracks that go on and on.

To know that because of one madman,
Or two, and a bunch of their friends,
I must leave my homeland forever,
And my African idyll now ends.

So farewell to the land of my childhood,
As into my exile I go.
Some that are staying deride me.
Are they right? I just don’t know.
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