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.
“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.”