The Meaningful Key

Minus mic,

his voice still carried,

barely and with just enough humour

to detect genuine humility

and passion.

He spoke

of early sadness,

not being good enough


finding meaning.

He spoke

of childhood,

of family split

and dodging school

to fail.

He spoke

of finding

worth in himself

through purpose

and work

and sharing

a shed

with rats,


scary spiders

and other youths

in a far-off land

where native children

were taught in awe and desperation,

drinking thirstily,

desperate for education.

He spoke

of forgiving himself

and his mum,

of whispered prayer

to find strength.

He spoke

of changes

in direction

to aspire

to doctor dream,

of local service

then returning

to Africa,

giving back

what he had found.

He spoke

of waiting soon

his first child –

to spontaneous applause

at his awed thrill.

His face lit

the stage.

A lad, I thought,

of tender years

for nothing


his glowing face.

But experience

lent truth

to his age

and joy in life.

From sad and broken beginnings,

he spoke,

while I choked back tears

at radiant happiness

and a voice

that spoke

to youths

and adults alike.

He spoke

of finding

the meaningful key.