“Can you see their halos?” By Sam Parham

On Sunday, we paraded to a new barrio.

Meeting the delegation there, we greeted each other

With hugs and besos,

Then proceeded to stand around

in what seemed to be a space for events;

A grassy courtyard.


Here, we met three men and I’ll go ahead

and call them ballarines;

They taught us folkloré dancing that day

and a ‘lil song too.

The sun shined through the trees

that half-kissed our surroundings,

Wind blew past our cheeks,

Smiles clayed our faces,

And a multicolored flag hung

Like a distant touch to

the day of the mother: Pachamama.


If my soul wasn’t floating that day

Then I don’t know what transcendence feels like;


Dancing together was only a snapshot of their halos.


Then today happened.


After dinner, we had a reflection.

We gathered in the living room and

Squiggled our way onto couches, chairs,

and bean bags.

Once comfortable

in silence, two songs were played

to bring us

into this delicate space.

When they ended,

Jen (the Casa Mama) asked us

to give our testimonies

Of how CASA has impacted our time here.


One by one, we spoke.

Then the delegation spoke, and

Lastly the staff.


They all spoke, do you hear them?


Shh, listen.

Do you hear their hearts?

Some tremble,

some quiet in rhythm, some

stoic, yet all vulnerable to the eye.

Quiet just a bit more.


Like a river they flowed

Together in one space;

They poured into this divine,

Drop by drop,

Tear by tear.

And just when they thought there was

Nothing more to give,

Just when they thought they emptied

their flower vases,

They became filled with

Something warm,

inherently familiar, and



They all spoke and there were here;

Can you see their halos?


Sam Parham is a junior Communications major at LMU. She is apart of Cohort 9 and wrote this poem after a visit from an LMU delegation in May 2018.

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