By Nora Watson - Peace Corps Volunteer, Liberia (2011-2013)
My Ma, she can cook de peppeh soup.
My Ma, she can raise her chi-ren.
My Ma, she wan plait her hair,
But, no money, no money-o.
My Ma, she can fix de nails.
My Ma, she can beat de peppeh.
She lay de clo in de grass,
It long, no one can brush-o.
My Ma, she can fix me de tea in de morning,
But my Ma, she can't get man-o.
My Ma, she cooks pepper soup.
My Ma, she raises her children.
My Ma, she wants to braid her hair,
But no money, no money.
My Ma, she can get her nails done,
My Ma, she beats the peppers.
She lays the clothes in the grass,
It's long, no one has cut it.
My Ma, she fixes me tea in the morning,
But my ma, she doesn't have a man.
This poem was selected as a finalist in the returned Volunteer category for the 2015 Peace Corps Poetry Contest. It was selected from more than 1,000 submissions, representing over 50 years of Peace Corps service in more than 100 countries.