When I am asked to visualise a meadow,
I think of the one
from Howl’s Moving Castle.
More than any other year this was the year of starting things and not finishing them.
Buy seeds only to not plant them. Buy plants only to not water them.
All those TV shows where the murderer was society all along.
All those unheard songs
only to crawl back to the familiar.
Lately, my lessons have been learning me.
I tell the doctor I sleep well enough and tomorrow comes regardless.
I say I am yearning for a place I’ve never been
and that I am learning to cope
by learning to paint and learning to breathe.
From my belly.
Emerged a deep purple wave. A full circle.
On a walk, I see the street full of people enjoying spring. Remembering spring
is the season where plants shiver new seeds into soil, then await the right conditions.
Every day, both despair and hope sit on my shoulders and
make me dance,
news cycle by news cycle.
The spring rain left puddles. Puddles holding all I know
about suburbia. Her lights. Street lamps. Amber, like cat’s eyes.
I have called today and many days
similar to today, ‘hell on earth’.
In my defence,
like a terrible train ride, one where after working long hours on my feet,
I then stood the whole way
and had nothing
to hold onto and steady myself. On the train
kept staring at me, then finally asked: Are you okay?
To which I remember replying, I AM, and believed it.
Jennifer Nguyen is the author of the poetry collection When I Die Slingshot my Ashes onto the Surface of the Moon (Subbed In, 2019). Jennifer’s writing has appeared in Scum Mag, Lor Journal, Ibis House, Sick Leave and Rabbit, among others. In 2019, Jennifer was a recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.