Lesotho Poem

I arrived in South Africa a week ago. I worked on some projects in Pietermaritzburg along with the mcc representatives that live here. This week, all of the SALTers in South Africa and Lesotho (there are 6 of us) have spiritual retreat Monday, tuesday, wednesday this week. For spiritual retreat today, we had to write a psalm in reflection of the year that we have had. We had already worked on creating posters that symbolized our year here, so then we took some time this afternoon to write a psalm or poem. Here it is:

As the stick smacked the small, calloused palm

As life and death collided without a qualm,

As my heart could no longer be calm,

Your grace sustained me.

 

As my gifts became useless,

As my training could not tame my fears,

As my eyes spilled invisible tears,

Your grace sustained me.

 

When I first stood in that valley,

When my expectations were high,

When the sun first bathed the mountains in light,

Your grace sustained me.

 

When my mom told me it was too long gone,

When my brothers told me they would miss me in the tractor,

When my dad saying I love you became the world to me,

Your grace sustained me.

 

While I felt sick in my first airplane,

While I walked to that school every day,

While my fellow teacher hit the class hands,

Your grace sustained me.

 

While those books were stolen one by one,

While whispers spoke of a noisy class,

While control seemed out of my grasp,

Your grace sustained me.

 

With no room to breathe in the taxi,

With bags in hand and fear at heart,

With papa and maroho stuffed inside,

Your grace sustained me.

 

With a new family unrelated by blood,

With new responsibilities on my mind,

With unrecognizable Sesotho voices,

Your grace sustained me.

 

In the maize field digging holes,

In the tractor seat forgetting fertilizer,

In the midst of gossip and frustration,

Your grace sustained me.

 

In the wall built by misunderstandings,

In the barrier created by arrogance,

In the conversations marked by anxiety,

Your grace sustained me.

 

At the unseen dinner table,

At the seat of honor and shame,

At the home of love and acceptance,

Your grace sustained me.

 

At the sight of his pained grimace,

At the sound of the rooster crow,

At the pain of an innocent remark,

Your grace sustained me.

 

Before the first rains that stole the soil,

Before I signed my name on the bottom line,

Before I saw his crimson stain on the ground,

Your grace sustained me.

 

Before I played my first Sesotho song,

Before I kicked my first plastics ball,

Before I stepped into my first taxi,

Your grace sustained me.

 

After the heat departed and the cold arrived,

After my first week without a shower,

After I beat my first Mosotho student,

Your grace sustained me.

 

After I hiked from here to Durban,

After I said my first Sesotho swear word,

After I took my first basin bath,

Your grace sustained me.

 

On the steps praying and asking,

On that indiscernible Christmas day,

On that trip to Malealea,

Your grace sustained me.

 

On the eve of my first school field trip,

On the day that death hit me in the face,

On that front porch learning Sesotho,

Your grace sustained me.

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~ by randallkoehler on July 10, 2012.

One Response to “Lesotho Poem”

  1. This is beautiful and very well written. Good job.

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