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On Adjusting and Orchids

Candice, who works in Bangkok, Thailand, wrote the following poems. She says writing them was one way she processed her experiences in Thailand. She wrote the first one, “Adjusting,” during their first year in the country, while watching her daughter play.


Candice, Claire and Eliza shortly
after arriving in Thailand in 2006.
I watch as pink watermelon juice
Streaks from mouth to shirt.
A squeal of delight
Banana squeezed in your other hand.
The fluorescent light on the veranda lights your face Papaya leaf shadows it.
I am hopeful as I watch you;
Your big teeth in your little face
As you shout at dogs in the street.
The way you snuggled down in that
Rattle and bang bus tonight.
The contented way you push
Your yellow horse with one foot
On the ground.
The other in the air.
It makes me feel
I wasn't wrong to bring you here.


You appear always poised midair
Ready to take flight, butterfly like.
Your roots put down, but attach to nothing much,
No grounding dirt, you feed on bark,
attach to trees, survive on droplets.
I wish I was more like you,
No need of roots curled deep in dirt.
Living beautiful, needing little.
Ready to fly away on the wish of God.