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in your eyes i see all the soil ofafrica,
and i know you miss the monsoons.
for there is only one who canstand the majestic rains,
the purple thunder across the plains,
and she isyou, mother.
you need not roar like the lion
to let them know you aremighty.
no, the truth is understood in your great hooves
which tread theearth as quiet as the breeze.
it is apparent in the folds of your leatheryskin,
the mud pools of your eyes,
the smooth curve of your crescent tusks.
but you long ago stopped wondering where the monsoons disappearedto.
there is nothing to question about the water hose in your cell.
youstopped wondering who these white animals were,
who lead you around in circlesfor crowds who blithely laugh.
i thought they would understand, mother,
ithought they could see.
i wish I could cure their blindness, mother,
butthey have taken away the strength
that i used to have in such abundance.
i cannot take away the pain you feel at leaving the plains behind.
norcan I quell your thirst for freedom, beyond this hay-strewn yard.
nor can Itake away the shame you feel at submitting to these children's teasing,
afteranswering only to the storms since the beginning of time.
i can only hang myhead with you;
and walk around in circles until they pack up the tent.
butsomeday, mother, we will go back.
and the monsoons will be waiting, to welcomeus home.
Rice Cakes For A Traveler by Amie K., New City, NY
Excerpt From Japan by Nathan L., La Mirada, CA
La Isla of Enchantment by Melissa N., Philadelphia, PA
Thirsting Eyes by Kaitie A., Northport, NY
St. Thomas by Michele B., Westlake, OH
Colors of Jerusalem by Kelly S., Middletown, PA
A Midday Stroll by Ben H., So. Hadley, MA
By Kiely C., Ft. Wayne, IN
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without the writtenpermission of the publisher: The Young Authors Foundation, Inc.