Scene at Evening

A mother takes a momentary pause.

Vocabulary:

neene: the Pulaar word for mother

By Jordan Weinstein - Peace Corps Volunteer, Senegal (2012-2015)

Neene is standing at the edge of her small blue mat
Facing East.
Outwardly motionless as the expired minibus down the street;
Inwardly intent on the energetic babble coming through the loudspeaker.
If stillness were a sport, she'd be an Olympian, except
The wind conspires with the corner of her shawl, which
Flutters ever so slightly behind her back.
 
Around her, the sounds of life going on:
Someone-pounding-
Baby-fussing-
Motos-passing-
Life.
 
The sounds of a world only
Slouching forward.
But in the middle, neene,
Taking a moment
Of stillness
In time.


This poem was selected as a finalist in the 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.

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