Christina Chen

Nature is never a picture of perfection;

just like how a woodpecker

pecks at a tree that won’t keel

and a hummingbird

seeks flowers that have yet to bloom,

and a rose still blossoms as

its petals waste away

with disease;

The days are starting to blur now.

It’s been a while since we’ve had the

freedom to roam as we wished,

and many have lost sight

of what life was before.

The arrogant will find reasons to make you part for them.

You're too close!

When did you get on my side of the road?

Stay six feet away from me.

The girls in the supermarket wear masks

that are too big for their faces,

and every time someone coughs,

the people in the next aisle cringe.

(The wary eye you because they see your eyes.)

Our masks smother us so that we cannot speak,

and our gloves hold us back from connecting.

We speak a silent language now,

filled with judgement and fear.

There is no reason,

but a silent beauty

to the rows of holes

in the trunk of our olive tree,

the beating wings of the hummingbird

in early April

and the rosebush that flowers,

even with the leaves below

ridden with spots -

So don’t we owe it to them,

to persist ourselves?