RE-ENTRY

ENTRY

I was still in Kenya at this time last year.

People in America don’t ask me about Kenya.
Kenya is too abstract.
They all say, ‘Tell me about your re-entry’.

My re-entry.
What is a re-entry?
Re-entry refers to those returning from war.
Asking about my re-entry is insulting.

I was not in a war.

Africa is loneliness
Africa is being the other, being white, mzungu
Africa is a torrential rainstorm that soaks your underwear
Africa is a swarm of flying ants appearing in your living room
And frogs in the living room
And ants in the kitchen

It’s roosters every morning
And goats in the fields and on your plate

It’s huge smiles

Africa is power failures
And no water
And laundry on the line
And hand washing laundry in the bathtub

I see a bird so big in the backyard
That I feel like I’m in
An American zoo

I see poverty
And I smell happiness
I see want
and I feel contentment

I hear Kiswahili
And I thrill to the sounds
The taste
The exotic wonderment of not understanding

I am not smart enough to articulate what I feel

I feel like saying ‘how dare you complain about anything’
I feel like saying ‘you have no idea what stress really is’
‘How dare you say, “I’m starving”’
I feel like saying ‘do I really have to listen to you complain?’
‘Imagine if your life was really hard’

And I’m home

Home

And I still hear the cry in a lonely field in Africa,
“I WANT TO BE EDUCATED!”
as the prehistoric birds fly overhead,
as the hippos lunge in the water,
as the shepherd herds the cows,
as unlikely bonds are formed.

I WANT TO BE EDUCATED

They shout from their toes
These refugees,
Denied identities,
Denied freedoms,
Denied self worth.

I WANT TO BE EDUCATED

IMG_2749

And I enter the classroom
In America
To start a new year
I take a breath
And I begin
To talk about
All there is

Time and Space

Re-entry?

Entry.

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This entry was published on April 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm. It’s filed under Random Thoughts, Teaching, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “RE-ENTRY

  1. marge on said:

    You have so much to share, to inspire, to reflect, to pass forward…much is expected from your soul…thank you for taking us with you my friend! M

  2. I loved your post. Kenya is home to me. I miss the laughter and smiles and the occasional gossip at my local shops but I am caught between two countries. Kenya is where my soul is at peace and Australia is where I call home. Bittersweet, it would be nice if it was one place but I get the best of both worlds

  3. Patti on said:

    I need to remember – take a step back – appreciate.

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