call it a day

By claudia chen

a child who vanished in 2009
bright eyes diminished in the matteness
of the missing person poster

come back, everyone misses 
                                                                you

as everyone searches
they try to conceal the damage done
losing sight of what must be protected
rosy lenses shattering and blinding you
strawberry fields decayed and turned into dust
burying the path leading to home,
a home on fire

the charred matchsticks are in your hands

the child in the photograph looks on,
begs me to set her free
but from the ashes, nothing rises
in an act of selfishness, i say
i am protecting you
behind this rusty armour

one day our hands will learn to forget destruction

the words we say will remain the same
repeated so often they’ve lost all value
the world will keep spinning
and i’ll keep losing time going backwards
looking for memories never formed
looking for a ghost

so i’ll take down the posters,
ink faded and long gone like the girl herself

and we’ll call it a day.


claudia chen is currently a Year 6 film student at School of the Arts. Formerly a literary arts student, she took to poetry after realising that 1. words didn’t have to be arranged into neat little stanzas, 2. she could hold on to an incomprehensible feeling and give it an image that makes sense. claudia also enjoys scriptwriting, designing cards and embroidery, and she runs a school-based literary magazine with her friends.

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