Woven for the Evanses

(A gift from the Leprosy Settlement, Chikankata)


Let palm-leaves muster once again our praise

As centuries ago they' stood to laud

The gladiator's own victorious days

When swords were sheathed for Rome's distinct reward.

Or waved by cheering crowds at Olivet

Acclaiming one they loved but soon would lose

Forgetting all their mob's unspoken debt

To him who sacrificed a life we'd choose.

But now Malala Palm is cut to weave

Expressions of our silent gratitude

Which looks can never say, nor words achieve

To tell our love and thanks with language crude.


So let the palms proclaim the eulogy

Or else the stones cry out immediately.


July 1977