Teen Ink magazine - April/May 2022

Page 63



Wonderland, Perhaps

Storks by the bayou plop! Ripples expand and wane peace settles. Stillness

Sometimes it's small, seems so superficial

by Zhen Xuan Liu, Irvine, CA

Would I Still Be Me? I like spaghetti with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and shredded parmesan cheese I like lots of vegetables and turkey on my subs and hot salted caramel on my ice cream But say I preferred my noodles plain, my cheese grated, meatballs instead of mushrooms, mayonnaise on my subs, and fudge on my ice cream — Wouldn’t I still be me? I dress for comfort, with oversized hoodies, jeans, and scuffed-up sneakers But what if I wore fancy shirts, short frilly skirts and the newest brand of shoes If I dressed for appearance — Wouldn’t I still be me? If I traded my books for a TV screen and woke up early on weekendsWouldn’t I still be me? If I stopped writing stories or watching DreamSMP — Wouldn’t I still be me? And if I stopped being insecure and didn’t care what other people think — Wouldn’t I still be me? But what if I stopped being shy and spoke my mind If I wasn’t scared of people — Wouldn’t I still be me? Or what if I quit writing songs, playing guitar or piano, threw out my art, and put down my pencil — Wouldn’t I still be me? What if I donated all my stuffed animals — Wouldn’t I still be me? What if I was all alone and wasn’t the slightest bit afraid — Would I still be me?

by Anonymous, UT

No battery on my phone, a forgotten homework, a burnt toast, a little disappointment and then I remember the sorrow I've been trying to avoid Is being sadder easier when you are already sad? My mind wandering down solitary streets Following an elusive rabbit Maybe I'm a contemporary Alice Falling through a hole, because I was running through the city With a frightened wonder A touch of relief in the void, as if I were suffocating before the sigh lets me breathe Wish I could scream, cry and laugh at the same time Feelings in all their wildness Memory of the past and perhaps the future I try to think of impossible things to free myself But I'm trapped by myself, the allure of my thought, my emotions I'm dizzy, it's not Wonderland.

by Mia Araña, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Patchwork People Patchwork people are works of art as their memories make their heart stitch by stitch of a golden thread proves that they arent dead see their faults and all they are and never forget their sewn up scars scissors may cut and break and tear but these people arent afraid nor care sew their scratches, breaks and cuts and patchwork people are the friends I trust.

by Wade Joseph, Lambertville, MI

The Moon's Children — A Ghazal Someone has murdered the honest sparrow. The butterfly broke the bones of the darkness. The sunrise braided her hair each morning with ribbons of diamond and ice. Winter has fallen in love with a wildfire. The stars have forgotten how to write poems. The sky has stolen the river’s name. Love sang the sun to sleep. Night’s heart is hidden in the frozen fields. I raced the moon’s children all the way home

by Abigail Walmer, Houston, TX

Sunlight She’s blindingly bright. The kind that cuts you like a sharp blade, makes you squint if you look any higher than your own feet. The kind that’s loud. Full of static, white noise, that crowds your mind and blocks you from thinking, until you blink and ask “what?” again and again. The kind that demands repentance She’ll warm your skin, kiss you with glory, until a cloud comes along and you miss the joy like a lung. She’ll force you on your knees so you beg for her return. But when she does, expect a blazing heat, a sequel with something to prove, until you’re begging for her to leave and she. Won’t. Listen. She’s loud, demanding, insecure, and fickle. You’ll be praying for her to leave, for a break, for Christsake; but as soon as she does, you’re rubbing your eyes wondering where you went wrong. Good luck with her. She’s a diva. (Oh, and just wait until you go inside. The world never looked grayer, And the mediocrity throbs in your eyes.)

by Angelina Parker, Hillsborough, CA 63