Way to School
Maybe if I don’t wear a coat, spring would come faster
No, it’s too cold
Running down the hill, momentum taking control
Maybe it can push me all the way to school, but not really
Students in uniforms, Nanas with grocery, Cars slowly moving
The cold air is sharp, almost piercing
Metro Station Crowded. Steamy hot. Instant Sweat.
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting
Maybe I could walk to school today if I had two extra hours
Door opens. No room to stand. Even warmer. Foggy windows.
Push myself against the side. Wishing I could walk to school
Feels like I’m back in New York, except
Door opens. More people come in. Nobody leaves.
It’s the fish market. Feel the freshness. Know it by scent.
2 people leave. 20 come in.
It’s the poet, the guitarist, the singer, the storyteller
free show every morning
Wish I had walked to school.
Hey, do I know you?
Probably, but no eye contact. Too crowded
Finally, people leave. So am I.
Maybe I can walk home today, but not really.
Vamos a la playa
Vamos a la playa
no, it’s cold, it’s windy, it’s winter
Too beautiful to resist
No beach towel, no bathing suits, no sunblock
Just sweater, scarf, gloves, coat, winter boots
wind blowing, waves dancing, dogs barking, children laughing
couples kissing, cold air lingering, cars honking, birds prancing
we’re shivering. Does not feel beachy, yet estamos en la playa
water glistens under the fading sunlight, so temptingly inviting
socks off, boots off, coat still on, feeling the salt wash over our feet
Definitely not summer.
Gone is the ability to feel, to walk, and to reason
Ice enters feet, up the legs, into the midriff, out as a sneeze, a cough
No regrets, excited to feel the ocean, the glacier
of course, sunset over the beach, indescribable
Getting home with wet feet, greeted by worried mama, typical
By: Sihua Qiu
Sihua Qiu is a student at Barnard College and studied abroad with IFSA-Butler on the Chilean Universities Program, Valparaiso, in 2012.