Back to WhereThereBeDragons.com
Cambodia Summer Program.

Cambodia Yesterday, Cambodia Today

Yesterday morphs into today
Today shapes tomorrow.

Yesterday I saw a boy
His skin the color of tree bark
And his eyes as dark as coal.
His arms covered with gaping wounds
Gaping, bloody.
The whiteness of his bones visible
Crystal tears rolled down his shirt
Stained cheeks
His leg shivered.
But he stood, with fire burning in his eyes
He stood, with his back straight
He stood, with his head held high.

Yesterday I saw a girl too.
Her hair shiny as silk
And her eyes as dark as night
Her back wrapped with bruises
All shades of blue, green and purple.
The ridges of her bones poking through
Worms crawling through her toes
Her feet faltered.
But she smiled, with a billion stars in her eyes
She smiled, with the corners of her mouth lifted,
She smiled, with her head held high.

Today I see a man
His skin the color of dirt
And his eyes bright as sun
His arms bulging with power
But laced with thin traces of scars.
Deft, strong
Mountains and ridges etched into his forehead
His brows knitted.
And he works, with his back doubled over
He works, with his hands firm
He works, with his head bent.

Today I see a woman
Her hair as slick as a river
And her eyes as pure as pearl.
Her back adorned with flowing fabric
All shades of red, yellow and violet
The softness of her skin shining through
Supple, strong.
Thin lines weave beneath her eyes
Her mouth lifted.
And she works, with her fingers flying
She works, with her back straight
She works, with her head bent.

Yesterday morphs into today
Today shapes tomorrow.