Kenya by Dr. Nima Sheth

by Mark Chmiel

This place has heart
and heart break.
Words cannot be just
when talking about this place.
One must come and See
One must Love
One must Fear
that uninvited Guest who so often
knocks at the most inopportune times.
People here, are truly human.
For them the Present is all-encompassing
it is the future,
it is the past,
it is Hope
because they still Are.
The Red of the soil
gives color to my pale skin,
and remains a legacy
of that uninvited Guest.
So much soil comes to the eyes,
until everything is covered in Red.
It seems God himself must have left this place
because he ran out of tears to shed.
In his place the humans here
lend their tears to the soil,
and feed one another,
with their resulting harvest.
With breath so easily taken
why wait for the calm,
which has become a cruel tease,
like a paradise one spends in isolation.
I am witness to
true human interaction here,
in this place,
where one’s communications
are understood Inside.
It is expected still
that feminine identity
remains linked to masculinity.
Although he collects the feminine,
indignant flames are really the soul of this country.
Long roads stretch ahead,
and there is little to be
Reliant on.
(Emerson would be speechless here.)
But there are those fearless children,
in whom the Red is housed,
and other life grows.
In them we see our truest truth,
the capacity to Hold

–Dr. Sheth sent me this after a three-week medical visit to Kenya. She is a psychiatry resident at Georgetown University.