Changed

one day soon, i will go,

back to what was so well known.

but this place, once quite strange,

feels oddly more like home.

in this time, i have changed;

and more than I can say.

it simply happened over time,

a little, day by day.

mother to, seventeen,

has made life quite full;

they’ve filled and drained my heart, of Love;

and sanctified my soul.

i still wonder at what point,

my life, and dreams were lost;

into their sweet, young hopes,

which somehow, made mine thrust.

He never told me, of the pain,

I would feel for them;

Stories, memories, surfaced up,

Owned by each one’s name.

And feeling deeply, my soul bore –

Their burdens that gave age –

To the book of my life,

Their tears on every page.

Yet, the sunshine in their smiles,

Brightened like the morn,

And Christ Himself walked our hall,

Helping Love be borne.

With every word, there was growth,

As we learned to talk,

But even more, to Listen true,

And keep our ears unlocked.

Who could guess that in one year,

These girls became my friends,

Not a job, nor a task,

But Beauty built to the end.

I did not bring them into the world,

Yet I have learned each cry;

This thing, maternal, grew within,

And I doubt it will ever die.

And, who can speak of settling,

When constant change is known,

Packing is their expertise,

And thousands of miles they’ve flown.

So when life felt unsettingly,

My fear was swallowed whole,

By their courage, aged and true,

That soared inside their souls.

“Are you here?” one asked of me,

“…Or simply biding time?”

I choked up, holding back my tears,

For leaving seems sublime:

A family at home to support,

Through a time so very tough,

Yet how did I think one year in Kenya,

Would possibly be enough…?

But the next chapter awaits,

And the pages must turn;

To Home, I’ll go and embrace new life;

My heart, for Africa, will always yearn.

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