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PLEASE TELL ME THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER

 

chapel street shifts pitch deep winter;

its edges, sharper its scents brighter, brittle

like peppermint ……………. or bone

.
where fever …. bush frozen

berry holly reaches its thorns to bristle

my fingers with its bitter tang

…………………………………. where deep—

.
beneath …. permafrost and

rust and dirty snow slush lies … me

…….. covered, cold in remnants of

an old white school song

.
…………………………………. our home

and native land ……………. haunting

my memory of spring.



ECR1Ellen Chang-Richardson (she/her) is an award-winning poet of Taiwanese and Cambodian Chinese (or Chinese Cambodian) descent. As the daughter of a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, she’s still trying to figure that second part out. The author of three poetry chapbooks, including snap, pop, performance (Gap Riot Press), her writing has appeared in Room, third coast magazineand Watch Your Head, among others. She currently lives and works on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg. Find her online at https://ehjchang.com.
(Author photo by Manahil Bandukwala)


18_1coverThis poem was originally published in Vallum issue 18:1 Invisibility.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE! Visit our website for details.