Sights and Sounds

Children, going about their daily lives, inspire this poem.

By Grace Harman— Peace Corps Volunteer, Lesotho (2013 – 2015)

A boy resting his head
On his friends shoulder while
Praying
in morning assembly.
Closing his eyes,
momentarily.
Catching a last moment of
Rest
Before he must
begin the
Note-taking
Listening
Reading
Learning.
 
Four neighbor children
none of them older than four
only two of them wearing pants
scampering across the white rocked mountain.
Yelping in delight
washed in sunshine
not a care in the
World.
 
While pumping water one day, I hear a deep-throated song
before I see who’s singing
Then all at once
seven boys
my sixth and seventh grade students
emerge into view
walking and singing in perfect unison down the dirt road.
Their apparent conductor standing
Dead center
Waving his fingers and
Keeping time for everyone.
 
A moment of bliss as a donkey
Breaks free
from his stake in the ground
and runs down the hill.
Free
for just a moment
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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