Twenty-five haikus / About being in Peace Corps / Ethiopia

Too much dorowat
makes a tired PCV
crave evening buna.

Today’s walk to school
tripped on rock and ripped my dress
where’s my bicycle?

Abbasouki gone
no mobile card for me
quiet solitude

God, please give me grace:
Orthodox church chant again.
I just want to sleep.

Running too early
bus drives by fast and deadly
goats, sheep, men don’t care

Kid: “where are you go”
me: “present progressive tense”
kid: “where are you go”

Gross shint bet splashback
hemorrhoids lead to medevacs
hey, South Africa

Greasy hair don’t smell
it just flakes and coifs until
Kings Hotel shower.

I will ignore you.
You don’t impress me at all.

Post office surprise
like swimming in a cold pool
that’s not Sodere.

Gyrating shoulders,
contrary to opinion,
aren’t easy to learn.

New weekly updates
measure week by passing week.
What’s up Dan Baker?

Reading all morning
on my yellow stuffed sofa.
Saturday relief.

Every ferenji
wants Habesha spouse, some say.
You must find new source.

Who could imagine
riding buses through nowhere
gives me deep meaning.

Order at t’ibs bet
kilo meat and some dabo
to soak up the oil.

Akkam jirtani?
Jebadhu, ferenji koo.
Ati leencha dha.

Habesha babies:
boogers, dirt, pant-less, and all;
Are why I stay here.

It’s raining again;
mud tomorrow. Damn. My shoes
are still sopping wet.

Dehna nesh? Tafash?
Waa! Waynay! Inday! Bismaam!
Izosh konjo lijj.

Addis Ababa
sometimes seems like paradise.
Go chop my money.

My eighth grade students
memorize Michael Jackson
and sing with passion.

Meles Zenawi’s
face will never disappear
from the minibus.

Surprise visitors
used to be a big hassle.
Now they make my day.

Roadkill’s not so bad
when the rest of the dirt road
is taken with life.


2 thoughts on “Twenty-five haikus / About being in Peace Corps / Ethiopia

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