Mixed up


It’s Malachi, chapter one, let the story unfold,
From Botswana to Zambia, where new dreams are told.
In the valley remote, where the wild things grow,
A new school beckons, where the rivers flow.

Back to Zambia, that thought’s tantalizing,
A fresh start, new school, dreams rising.
A journey with my family, miles to explore,
To a campus with promise at its core.

At just eleven, I’m stepping out on my own,
Boarding school life, far from the known.
Long drive ends at a place untouched, serene,
Surrounded by nature, a tranquil scene.

First day jitters, boarding school blues,
1000 miles from home, facing the new.
Goodbyes said, to dorms we go,
Meeting house parents, staff we ought to know.

Assembly at three, a hike to the river,
Initiative tests, got me all a-quiver.
Three miles trek, through nature’s lap,
A fat kid’s fears in every step.

Fat Albert’s lessons in my mind,
A big up to Cosby despite the price.
Standing out, picked last, often overlooked,
‘Big boned,’ ‘puppy fat,’ the words that shook.

Preparing for the hike, shorts riding up,
Hay fever’s itch, but I can’t give up.
Alone in thought, life’s meaning I ponder,
A man approaches, breaks my wonder.

“Hello, young man,” with a jovial stride,
Stocky build, salt and pepper pride.
“You know you’re fat,” straight to the point he said,
Uncle Mike, with wisdom in his head.

“Yes, I know,” my response with a sigh,
Acknowledged at last, I couldn’t deny.
“Do you want to change?” his words sincere,
“Yes, I’m here for that,” I faced my fear.

A retired vet, with a heart that’s pure,
Helping kids like me, through the struggles we endure.
Nature as a backdrop, away from the screens,
We’ll shed the weight, fulfill our dreams.

Saturday runs at dawn, a daunting start,
Barefoot I ran, felt free at heart.
Giggles and whispers as they passed me by,
Focused on the rhythm, reaching for the sky.

Markers set, goals in sight,
Step by step, I’d take flight.
Months passed, the laughter died,
That fat kid transformed, with pride.

3000 meters, left behind,
A girl by my side, a bond defined.
Misjudged her before, she proved me wrong,
Encouragement in her words, made me strong.

Greek girl, once tainted by slurs,
Kindness revealed, true friendship occurs.
Realized not to judge by the outer skin,
True strength and beauty lie within.

Malachi’s journey, from caterpillar to flight,
Weight loss, self-love, battles to fight.
Running free, embraced the new,
Nature, friendships, a life anew.

Growth and change, body and mind,
In Zambia’s heart, peace I find.
From a fat kid’s fear to a butterfly’s flight,
Malachi’s story, shining bright.

Through the trials, the laughter, the uphill climb,
I found my pace, my rhythm, my time.
Weekend runs, every step felt right,
Barefoot strides, embracing the light.

Uncle Mike’s wisdom, guiding my way,
Encouraged me, day by day.
In nature’s embrace, I shed the past,
Found strength within, built to last.

Late nights in dorms, friendships grew,
Stories shared, bonds that were true.
“Angela, Angela, are you there?” we’d dare,
The Ouija spirit, causing a stir everywhere.
Bending reality throughout the school
Only the MAC knows the truth
And uncle Yellow knows it too

Confidence blossomed, fears erased,
New goals set, new paths to chase.
The school, once daunting, now home sweet,
A journey of growth, self-discovery complete.

In every challenge, found my place,
Malachi’s journey, a tale of grace.
Through perseverance, support, I learned to thrive,
As a witness to the light.