i can remember the laughter
and the sound of my friend
calling my name and grabbing my hand
and pulling me towards the music
where someone’s playing a song.
i don’t remember the title and can only vaguely
recollect the melody,
but it was a pretty major chord
that felt like eating a slice of overly sweetened cake
made for me on my birthday.
the crowds were loud and we stood in
that park where we’d recently met a man
who wrote us a poem since
he did poetry on demand and we told him
that i was leaving soon
back to my other home.
the sun was out.
we spent the entire afternoon outside
and looking at books in a small bookshop.
when i glanced up from my book i didn’t see
a mask but a friendly smile and a face that
didn’t know what was coming. but neither did i.
there’s a bitter taste left on my tongue
because all these memories seem like a distant
dream that won’t ever happen again. lives were
lost and families separated. my passport hasn’t been
stamped for the past two years
and despite video calling and texting
i haven’t felt the replication of a grandparent’s hug
in a very, very long time.
and all i can do is wait and see where the future
will carry me. to be frank,
i’m a bit tired of the fear and the crying,
and the terrible, terrible loss––not just of lives
but of what we used to have.
i want to fall asleep again, and hope that this was all just
another unfortunate dream. and maybe, just maybe,
we’ll laugh freely once again.
I live in a country where it’s difficult to do much without needing government approval. I’ve already been in school for the month of August, and during one of my music club meetings, we reminisced about the days before Covid-19 began. The longing for what life was like before, which now seems incredibly far away, is what inspired this poem.
Editors: Nikki J. Sam L. Zoe L.
Cover Photo Source: The Honey Combers