Oh, Kingdom in the Sky

An ode to the country of Lesotho.


dongas: a gulley or canyon washed out from erosion
maize: corn
mabele: sorghum used to make beer
mokopu: pumpkins
meroho: greens such as chard or spinach
cosmos: wild flower
kobos: blankets worn around the shoulders
Bo'Me: women
Bo'Ntate: men 

By Mary Ann Camp - Peace Corps Volunteer, Lesotho (1998-2000), Malawi (2001-2004), Botswana (2005-2007) 

I have come to love your land.

Your peaks reaching skyward—
Your treasured trees,
Even the dongas express a pained beauty of its own.

I have come to love your seasons.

Summer in December—
Christmas without snow.

Springtime planting of maize, mabele, mokopu, and meroho.

Autumn bursts forth with cosmos waving in the breeze.

And winter time—kobos layered at night so I won't freeze.

I have come to love your people.

Bo'Me'—I admire your tenacity for hard work.
Carrying the buckets on your head
Seeing that your family is fed.
Washing the clothes, cutting the wood.

Bo'Ntate—caretakers of the animals—
Training your sons to plow, plant and reap.
I respect your wisdom.

Oh, children of Lesotho—

It is now your land to love and keep.

I have been honored to spend precious days with you.

Oh, Kingdom in the Sky.

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