The Shore

Forever lost in the ocean
the water seeps into my chest
I’ve lost myself in the motion
let the fish swim beneath my breast

And yet each time I’m pulled under
the sun too far to touch my face
never does my body sunder
and crumple in the sea’s embrace

my lungs—they fight and swear and shout
until my mouth gasps in fresh air,
choking filthy salt water out
with the remnants of my despair

the ocean is all that I know
But I will make it to the shore
I’ll swim until sand piles below
And tired feet touch solid floor

 

My Friend

My friend, she wears a hat with a red star
Delivered from a warehouse as a joke
She holds the Communist Manifesto
Reads words on which so many others choke
Talks of overthrowing the bourgeoisie
Our classmates laugh, they have never seen truth
My parents don’t speak of their old country
Their bodies have scars left over from youth

My friend knows nothing of revolution
The blood and tears shed in Tiananmen Square
The starvation of the Great Leap Forward
She’s never fled her home out of despair
Mao’s image still rests on grandfather’s wall
The tide not fully turned, old wounds not closed
Scholars are muzzled not sent to the fields
Today, basic freedom is still opposed

My friend and I read our history books
Millions of deaths fit on a single page
Where lives are not lives, but neat statistics
Distance is a privilege of our age
In China the monuments still bear scars
The soil remains bloody under their feet
But the people are moving forward still
A new generation filling the street

 

Icarus Rising

Daedalus do not weep, do not repent
let mine be a story of flight, not fall
For I kissed the sun before my descent
and blinded, the sea hardly hurt at all

 

Abigail Zhong is a junior at Oxford Academy high school in southern California and President of the Poetry Club. She wants to pursue a career in medicine.

Featured Image: “Sunset in Mid-Ocean” by Thomas Moran (1837-1926). 

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3 Responses

  1. Florence Majpr

    Dear Abigail Zhong,
    Vey clear and intelligently thought out rhyme schemes throughout. Your “Icarus Rising,” a nice new spin on the myth. Your work much enjoyed.
    Florence

    Reply
  2. Florence Major

    Dear Abigail Zhong,
    Vey clear and intelligently thought out rhyme schemes throughout. Your “Icarus Rising,” a nice new spin on the myth. Your work much enjoyed.
    Florence Major

    Reply

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