Student Poem:
With Love, From Cambodia

By Mia Kane

A girl stands, unsure, at the crossroads of life,
Waiting to turn a new page in her book.
Over her shoulder lie seventeen years
Of the chapters she’s read, and the roads that she took.
And on the first page of her “Chapter Eighteen”
Is a short, loving message that simply reads,
“With love, from Cambodia.”

From the blue of the sky, from the green of the grass
The yellow of mangos, the red of chuntee
From the beaches of Kep, from Mondulkiri
From the white, three-pronged Wat in a red-and-blue sea
A farewell is whispered, poignant and sweet
“Goodbye, our beloved, till we again meet;
With love, from Cambodia.”

“Take care of our girl!” they call out to the world.
“Beware what you give her, beware what you take;
She’s young, inexperienced, and a little scared, too,
She has far still to go, and her mark still to make.
She doesn’t come perfect, she doesn’t come free,
But she comes with a certified, life-guarantee:
With love, from Cambodia.”

Where will her road lead in eighteen more years?
What other places will sign on a page?
Africa, Europe, will they scrawl their names?
But no matter her story, her distance, her age,
Above all other signatures, standing apart,
Lovingly written, inscribed on her heart,
Is “With love, from Cambodia.”


Mia is a freshly-graduated senior from Ratanakiri, Cambodia. She’s been a missionary kid there since she was two, but will be heading back to the US very soon to start a new chapter in her life—college. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and crocheting, as well as shopping to add to her enormous earring collection.

Congratulations to Miss Kane on her excellent score on the CLT! All student essays, stories, and poems here at the Journal are submitted by a selection of students with the highest scores on the exam. To see more from our top students, go here.

Published on 2 August, 2022. Page image of Angkor Wat, a celebrated temple complex in Cambodia (source).

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