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Little Swahili Boy

by Emylee Ballo


For the first time, I saw someone

in two places at once.

His elementary legs four yards ahead of his mind

running away from the bullying stick-throwers

his brain longed to name friends.


The little boy didn’t resemble the others—

dirtier than the path he ran on

smaller than the single-portion meal he didn’t receive

But more joyful than the songs he clapped to

in the third-world classroom.


I didn’t know his name

but to him, I was “Teacher.”

I only wanted to help aide his time left on earth—

Just have him sit on the side a spare moment

and if he waited with his water

he would receive a double portion.

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Filed under Poetry, Poetry Submission