(The following poem was composed last year by my daughter Xian in the middle of 5th grade. Originally posted Feb 27, 2015)
I see buildings like Lego blocks
Beneath me that prickle my feet
Parks and streets no bigger than my thumb.
Clouds at my elbow, mountains at my cheeks.
I’m 23 floors high in the sky.
The world is mine.
(View of Wenshin Park from the balcony. Third apartment in Taichung.)
My tippy-toes touch the tile floor whirling past me below
As my sisters and I ride scooters in the living room.
On two wheels and a board blade we fly.
Round the smooth recliner chair and the soft brown sofa
I hear the piano cry, “Whoa!” I hear the book case scream, “Go!”
I hear the window tremble with envy.
I put on a record:
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you!”
Dad is at the barbecue on the balcony.
I taste the burgers on the grill melting in my mouth.
Cheese sticking to my tongue, lettuce cooling the heat.
I smell the sweet afternoon with my family
Spinning and riding high above the city. Dad says, “Remember this feeling.”
He grabs a scooter, and races me round the kitchen table
He’s right on my heels!
I see and hear and taste and smell and touch
What happiness is to me.