An old black man, in a hot dry month,
sat in the shade of the Baobab tree.
The once verdant grasslands
were dry with drought,
victims of the winds of change.
“Old, they call me old.” He thought,
“my Seventy summers have turned me gray,
but this Baobab tree grew tall and strong
When Roman legions passed this way.”
The old man chewed the baobab fruit
and sank into a trance like state.
He was in a state of mind;
Not quite asleep, not quite awake.
He heard a voice: “I thirst.” It said,
Though he was sure he was alone.
It seemed not a human voice:
a dry dispassionate monotone.
“For generations, men like you
Have sought my shelter from the Sun,
But now it is finished; the land is parched
And I am dying, little one.”
The old man wept to hear these words
For when these trees die, as they must,
They collapse upon the barren ground
So quickly they return to Dust.
“The world has changed for you and me,
The winds are dry beneath the sun.
I forgive the world of men
For they know not what they have done.”
The old man woke up with a start
and raised himself up with his cane.
He wept to think this tree would die
but tears cannot replace the rain.
The Baobab tree is called "The Tree of Life" for the nutrient dense fruit it provides in Africa's dry season. As the Climate of the continent is changing and desertification is taking place the oldest of the trees are dying of thirst