The atrate doesn’t understand
the briskly cold embrace
of the cherry blossom trees
as she carries the bundle of gladiolus
and litters them
over Mother’s grave—
but she knows too well the prick
from pine needles
as the blood is absorbed
into the chipped cedar limbs, running
through the burning forest of grief—
don’t look back now.
The umbrella swung with rain
sticky fingers grasping the handle.
The fog engulfing the tip
of the umbrella:
the lonely light
of a lighthouse
illuminated by the auroras—
you already left.
She remembers like icicles hanging
over glass windows—
when Mother was a biblioklept,
running through aisles
of lemon-scented books,
silver-engraved titles disappearing
She wonders if she had much to lose—
Mother, return and replace your body
with blue roses.
Sabrina Guo is a Syosset High School freshman from Oyster Bay, New York. She is a recipient of the Civic Expression Award, three National Gold Medals in Poetry, and a National Gold Medal in Journalism from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her work has also been recognized by the Academy of American Poets, the Sarah Mook Poetry Contest, the 1455 Teen Poet Contest, the Stone Soup Concrete Poetry Contest, and the Stone Soup Flash Fiction Contest. Her recent work is featured in the Best Teen Writing of 2019, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers blog, and Stone Soup.