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Wednesday, February 10, 2021


by Katherine Tian

A weekend afternoon, the park near my room,
the stone table where my friends and I used to sit is covered with a thick layer of dust.
Untrodden weeds cross the dirt path.
When it is over,
we will come together like a wind gust.
Our friendship will only bloom.
After a long day at work, a nurse mother goes home with a sigh of bliss.
She can only embrace her toddling daughter with her gaze and tears,
close at hand, but on opposite sides of the canyon.
When it is over,
my little dear,
Mom will hug you in her arms with a long kiss.
During a festival, I walk on the empty square,
music and fragrance that once wafted through the restaurant disappear like a cloud.
Now only cold wind blows through.
When it is over,
the long-lost crowd
will gather again to breathe the free, healthy air.
Golden wedding grandparents pass away in isolation, looking at each other like new lovers.
The memory and close goodbye can only dwell
in the relatives’ sorrow hearts.
When it is over,
the belated remembrances and farewells
will turn into rainy tears and falling flowers.
I miss the sound of my teacher's marker scratching on the white board,
the crowd in the hallway,
the morning flock of school buses.
When it is over,
to my dear teachers, I will say,
in the back of the classroom, I will never fall asleep or get bored.
The early spring flowers are about to sprout.
The birds in the trees are singing happily as they cheer.
At this darkest moment of the pandemic,
my dear friends,
can you hear
the footsteps of the warm sunshine behind the heavy cloud?

Katherine Tian is a senior at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York. She is a long-time dancer and a long-term volunteer at a local elder-care center.