Juanita Book

By Juanita Torrence-Thompson

ęCopyright by Juanita Torrence-Thompson

JUANITA TORRENCE-THOMPSON is a poet/writer/speaker whose award-winning work appears in U.S. and Canadian journals and online. See her poetry and book information at: Poetry Town. See Barbara Hantman's review of Torrence-Thompson's CELEBRATING A TAPESTRY OF LIFE (Torderwarz Publishing Company)at: The Pedestal Magazine


You embraced every moment as if it were your last
You moved to Uganda during Idi Amin's reign
with no job in sight, to help the needy
spiritually and emotionally and enlightened youth
as professor at Makere University

You spearheaded the Institute of Higher Learning
for Ugandan Women and planned the 50th Anniversary
Celebration of the Baha'i Faith in Uganda
If a program had to be chaired and executed,
a nutrition series launched, taught
and published, guidance counselor needed,
you were there, sleeves rolled up PHOTO
wearing your famed wide sunhats (Dr. Zylpha Mapp-Robinson)
in Uganda, Borkina Faso, Southern Africa
and India, Grand Turks or anywhere

You may have been the oldest in the Peace Corps,
oldest to receive your doctorate from Kensington University,
and to sing in the Baha'i World Choir abroad

You leapt high walls to teach D.C. youth
at a Baha'i summer camp, while the younger
volunteers took the longer, safer route

No matter how long your day or how arduous
your work and travels, you always wrote or called
I miss our talks, running to the mailbox
for your letters and photos of your travels
or to my computer for your e-mails. I miss your
tender face, your spirit, faith and warm optimism.
I miss your brilliant mind, creativity, humanity
I miss your counsel, grand sense of humor,
abundant energy, your bravery, your love
I miss my best friend, the other half of my spirit