by Su Hwang

When headlights cast shadow
puppets against the living
room wall, my brother and I did
our best to keep up
appearances: he’d scurry
to turn off the Nintendo
console while I hung up
on my best friend.  He splayed
open his biology textbook, I leapt
to the upright Yamaha to play
the first few notes of Für Elise––
a perfectly choreographed
intermezzo for our parents
who’d walk in from their hour-
long commute, their clothes reeking
of chemicals. They’d nod, father
heading straight to the backyard
to hit a golf ball on a string
while mother silently made
dinner––rice, kimchi, Spam,
as we three listened from different
corners of the house, to iron
greeting a tiny white ball: thwack,
thwack, thwack, twack…

University & College Poetry Prizes Page