There was this sweet little boy at the Special School in Kenya. His name was Dennis. He was always smiling and he had the kindest eyes. He was tiny, like most of the kids there, partially from lack of a nutritious diet and partially from his physical impairment. I didn’t really connect with Dennis until one afternoon when I helped a few other volunteers bathe, clean, and clothe a few of the children after the house moms had run out of diapers.
Dennis is currently my background on my desktop along with another girl (just as sweet as Dennis) named Sharon. I look at them every time I open my computer but for some reason, last night, I had a wave of words flood through my fingertips as I looked into Dennis’ sweet, virtual eyes. The following poem is what was released.
When I look at the picture of his face I know he wanted to say so much to me that day,
To just drop down and thank me.
His smile said only half of what his eyes screamed,
For picking me up after you already ridden seven other kids of their grime,
For noticing me in the back room,
Laying in filth.
You were snooping but it’s okay because I’ll admit…
I peed myself.
And I’m sorry you had to see me that way but it’s only because the School Head won’t take the diapers out of storage in fear the room will remain empty for far too long until another donation.
She means well.
But, thank you.
For holding me when they are forced to care for far too many.
You saved me.
From my own puddle of upset stomach
Even though you couldn’t stomach the smell of neglect on my urine soaked skin right before your lunch break.
I know if affected your entire mindset.
Don’t regret seeing me.
Or being here.
We need you here.
Hear my out when my words can’t be shouted.
I’ll smile bigger so you know
That I do understand and I am thankful.
Even though I’ve had no chance here
Hear me out…
I would shout thank you loud enough for lions to fear me if my words weren’t trapped behind these eyes.
I don’t know how to thank you.”
I know his eyes held more than dry tears the day I saved him
From one wet, dingy, Special School bunk bed.
I saved him,
From a lonely night left alone with no one to save him.
His fragile arms would then reach for me daily.
They would spread open in hopes that I would hold him again and cleanse his body of Kenyan sand.
His hugs saved me
From feeling tortured by his past.
And his present.
And his future.
His smile saved me
From fallen tears blinked down my cheeks.
His picture of my desktop saves me
From forgetting the feeling of passion I felt for the very first time as I denied lunch because I couldn’t stand the thought of enjoying a meal after such an unenjoyable sight.