Whenever I feel loss or lack, I imagine 
The wind roaming outside of my childhood’s lair
—as I am a child again, with my red knapsack 
bouncing lightly on my back— 
Beckoning me to run to it, into its slurry white expanse . . .
And in my heart, I am already on my way 
To some thrilling future 
Which is not yet weak and diluted with a lonely pain.
There, I am someone who wishes to be 
An exception and I am. A third and ringing note 
Edges the banal alternatives of 
Yes, and No. A lyric possibility rises 
Everywhere and at once, a thousand roses—allusive, corrosive.
Think how much you must change. Even more than you dare.


Copyright © 2023 by Sandra Lim. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 1, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This is a poem that uncoiled itself in an early spring. I was thinking of the season’s renewed taste for the naive, and the peculiar combination of melancholy, ambient friskiness, inconsistency, and painful malleability inspired by its weathers. You can feel muted and vivid all at once, as old as dirt and too young to know any better.”
—Sandra Lim