Behind the Clotheslines, Through the Gap, Over the Fence

Behind the clotheslines that smelled of damp floral detergent, through the gap between the brick buildings that my slim shoulders could slip through, over the chain-link fence that my svelte feet could fit in the holes of, was a small corner of dirt and dandelions that i made my own, filled with crayons and scraps of note paper i managed to steal from my mother’s collection, a little nook that, so unremarkable to the common eye, was my most treasured possession, where i could play with the ladybugs, blow on the dancing weeds in the wind, in a corner where if i stood up, i could see the wide expanse of the rows of my neighbors’ homogeneous Tudor houses, where i could hear the roar of the JZ Train speeding towards Flushing Meadows above me, calling to me as i waved my hand at them, a little spot that was perfectly tailored to my body, where i could prop my feet against the peeling white wall, a wall growing dustier over time, imprints of my sneakers accumulating through the years, my corner becoming smaller and smaller, until it turned cramped, its luster gone and the heat would burn my skin, where i had to duck my head to stand, where the blare of the train was obtrusive and the bugs would crawl uninvited on me, an alcove that soon i could not reach, my shoulders growing too broad to fit between the gaps.

Sarah Zhang is a 14-year-old who loves writing poems about unexplored topics. In her free time, she plays tennis with her sister and likes New York-style pizza.

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