By Christine Biles - Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania (2015 - 2017)
You’ve searched all around
for something to hold on to,
spent months yearning
for the sights that could bring
you home. When doubt lingers
on your doorstep, look up.
At the clouds that are bigger
than any one life, at the sky
that stretches to the end
of your world.
Walk upside-down on the tapestry
of grays and blues and you’ll reach
home eventually, wherever
that may be.
Block out everything but the sky
and you could be anywhere,
you are anywhere,
you are home,
with the clouds
that add the variety, dimension, reality necessary
to stall the battle between
your conscience and your ego.
Don’t deny it, you are a speck
of forgotten dust the dinosaurs
of the future will neglect to step on.
So look up at the sky, the clouds,
and feel okay in your smallness.
There is greater power and beauty
in this world than you can hope
to understand, but at least
you can stand tall and see it.
That is your importance.
You are a witness, a bottle destined
to bob in the ocean for eternity,
but inside you’ll collect
content deeper than all
that water below.
The message: your home is inside,
your home is above, your home
is anywhere, everywhere,
because you have learned
to look up and feel grounded.
This poem was entered in the Volunteer category for the 2015 Peace Corps Poetry Contest. The contest received more than 1,000 submissions, representing over 50 years of Peace Corps service in more than 100 countries.