Where it all begins.
Where it all begins.

He meant well

When he lit

The Korean

Torch and set

The stove ablaze.

He didn’t realize

That the smoke

Would reveal

Diving light

And stifle

Busy routine.

It was not

His fault but

The electric


Failed at that



A man bathed

In light

High in the air

Clipped with

Needle noses

To tighten


That didn’t

Need fixing.

Crooked candles

Sat in

Ash trays to

Light the dusk

As the haze

Fell out

Of sight.

The next


A familiar


Returned to


All that


Of three

Month’s past

Was the smell

Of last night’s


Something had

Changed yet

Nothing had


In spite of all

Of this,

The son decided

To ride

His bike


He was

No longer


To start

The fires.

Composed 08/12/2012

Author’s Note: This is the last of the 50 odd-something poems I wrote during my Preservice Training experience. It’s hard to believe that it’s all up here, and re-reading all of them every week before posting really brought back some interesting memories. Right before I left, my host brother tried his hand at making a fire in our wooden house, as the temperatures were beginning to drop. The poor guy tried very hard at everything he did, but had a great deal of difficulty figuring things out. He was also the family representative for all Peace Corps events. He was the only one of my host family who came to my swearing in. I didn’t really have the cushy, love-filled relationship with my host family that you tend to hear about from most volunteers. I’m not sure if that came out in the poems. Either way, it’s been over a year since I’ve started posting here, and well over a year since PST ended. My, how time flies!

Previous Posts

T. Baatar (Prose)

Transition (Poetry)

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Mining and Nationalism (Prose)

Switch (Poetry)


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