Jeremy Rolfs

Jeremy Rolfs

“Thabo Khali Khali”

January 28, 1970 – March 21, 1997

PCV Lesotho 1995-1997


I used to fear the wind

for I knew my soul to be

a dandelion

which Tsunami Time





in an instant

but now, alone, as daylight dies

engulfed by growing green


I see the wind

I hear the wind

I feel the wind


I welcome it.

I am become dispersed


each section of my soul

each moment, each memory

is a seed


which might fly through the air

and tumble on the ground

then try to lay down roots

to someday bloom

and face the summer sun

perhaps my souls

can find more peace


than they ever could together when crowded within me.

~Jeremy Rolfs, 1994

Thabo Khali Khali

“Thabo khali khali”

the village children

named you, meaning

“airplane of happiness”

when they saw you leaping

and playing and running

in the grassy fields and hills,

the comical pointy straw hat

bouncing on your back,

your thick wavy hair

falling forward, the gift

of your new native blanket

pinned round your shoulders,

your long arms wildly waving,

the blanket flapping like wings.

The older girls, shy, stood

giggling near the house,

the younger children all

shouting and pointing,

irrepressible laughter bursting

from great toothy grins

in wide-eyed dark faces,

running around

and up and down with you

in joyous exuberant circles

calling out

your new name.

I can picture it perfectly.

Oh let this image

stay with me, help me

remember you like this

when the world goes black

and I sink into bitterness

and rage thinking of all

the laughter, the joy,

the fun, the friendships,

the fulfillment of completed work,

the pleasures of the body,

the children you didn’t get to have,

the growing and loving

you didn’t get to know.

Then let this be enough:

A child’s voice, laughing,

Calling out of the darkness to me

Look! Thabo Khali Khali!

~Alma Rolfs

One of Jeremy’s teachers began the Jeremy Rolfs Memorial Scholarship Fund at Middle Tennessee State University.

To contribute, contact:
PO Box 109
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 37132

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3 Responses to Jeremy Rolfs

  1. Fiona September 7, 2016 at 2:22 am #


    I found this page a few years back, when I was a freshman in college and interested in the Peace Corp. Since then, I’ve found myself wandering back to Jeremy’s page every year or so. I find Alma Rolfs’ poems to be beautiful and have read them over and over again. Despite not knowing Jeremy, I’m touched by all the poem and stories I’ve read. He seemed to be a beautiful soul, and everyone who met him was lucky to have had him in his life.

    Wishing you all the best,

  2. Teressia Ward-Zack March 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Dear Jeremy,

    I just can’t seem to get you off my mind. For some reason I’ve been thinking about you and Heather more and more. I’m remembering how precious the two of you were together. How I never imagined my co-worker from the radio station we worked at would fall in love with the geeky guy from the television station I worked at.

    How sweetly I remember her coming up to me and asked me to introduce her to you. I remember that conversation in the hallway outside Studio B in the LRC at MTSU. Jeremy, this is Heather. Heather, this is Jeremy. She has a little crush on you.

    From that moment, y’all were inseparable. Who knew where that introduction would lead? Just a few short years later, you were engaged and we were planning a wedding. We were all so happy.

    No one knows when our time will come to say goodbye to this life. No one can say why God works the way He does. All we can do is live life like it’s the 2-minute warning and love FIERCELY!

    I’m so honored to have been a part of your life, my friend. I’m missing you both more and more. I remember you and I love you. Always.

    Thanks for being my friend.

    • Angie Louise (Rolfs) February 26, 2016 at 3:21 am #

      Hi Teressia. This is Angie, Jeremy’s sister. I loved reading your words about both Jeremy and Heather. Thank you so much for keeping them in your heart. Much love.

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