“Living as a Young Girl in Kenya” by Nicole Despotopulos

Art by Patrick Driscoll

We collected sawdust. If we forgot it, we would be whipped by our mothers.

We collected the sawdust for our school’s field, you know, for hurdling.

“Step, jump, and hurdle.”

We crossed a swollen river, sometimes barefoot, for fruit.

The yellow ones, you know, Passion Fruit.

The trees were giants.

The fruits were on their limbs.

We threw stones up at the trees to make the fruits fall.


The stones sometimes hit our heads.

Bruises from stones never deterred us.

We were determined, sawdust and all.

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