Winne Mandela posted by Alice Walker on

The name “Lucy,” which appears in the following poem, was given by paleoanthropologists to the fossilized skeleton of the most ancient, recognizably human being ever found.  A woman who lived on the African continent some three million years ago.


by Alice Walker

Winnie Mandela
We love you.

If we had known you
In a time of peace
We would have loved
Your peacefulness
Your quiet so deep
It did not hear
The call
To fight.

We missed our chance.

Winnie Mandela
We love you.

In a time of war
We love your ferocity.

We love your vigilance.
We love your impatience
With killers
And charlatans.
We love your hatred
Of the deaths of our people.
We love your hatred
Of despair.

Winnie Mandela
We love you.

We love your beauty.
We love your style.
We love your hats,
And various lengths
Of hair.
We love the passion
In your body.
The fury in your eyes.
When you smile
We are amazed.

We love your loyalty
To Nelson
The  beautiful.
Your attention to
The children
And the voluptuousness
Of the countryside
Which will be ours
We love your memory
Of details.
We love that you do not intend
To forget.

Winnie Mandela, “Lucy,”
We love you

For helping us recognize
The eternity you’ve been with us before.

Winnie Mandela, Sister,
We love you.

Yours is the contemporary face
Of the mother
Of the human race.


From Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete, Harcourt Brace publishers;  by Alice Walker

Happy Birthday, Beloved!  26th September.