©2019 by Canvas Literary Journal

Published by Cosmographia Books

Background art “Camouflage” by Hyung Jin Lee

Canvas logo by Ali Wrona

Elegy (Gladiolus)

Sabrina Guo

Autumn 2019

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

with her.
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.