Stepping onto this land
with a swollen tongue,
laden with fruits of Zhejiang.
Wet vowels splashing on pavement.
Broken syllables wild and
unintelligible, your mother’s worried
glances from the kitchen sink. ESL.
You never remember the dying.
Lingering on sanctity the moment
you arrived, cradling this thing called
Hope in your arms. The slipping of a
language, trying desperately to hold on.
The warmth of Home,
pressed against your chest.
The surge of recollection. The
patter of rain on a smoking roof.
Emma Miao is a high school sophomore from Vancouver. She was recently named a commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year for 2019. Her work is forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Sine Theta Magazine, and she is recognized by the Poetry Institute of Canada. Find her on Instagram at @emxpoetry.