Photograph taken on Kimball Street, July 21
white car, parked atop the staggered
cobblestone with green pooling at the seams,
sleeps with its front wheels still turned
to the left, with its windshield wipers poised
like fingers, reaching where the evening sun
strikes metal. we haven’t had rain in a week.
above it, a tree branch tangled in telephone lines.
someone is also saying goodbye. but here, now,
teetering on the brink of forgetfulness, this farewell
feels too monumental to be commonplace.
where the line of cars tapers off, a building
that is more wound than wall, a doorbell without
someone to call to. the paint chips off
and into the roads. it’ll live in some dirtied sole tomorrow.
as this strand of sidewalk before us narrows
into trapezoid, only then do we notice the two
people standing there, gripping each other’s hands
and waving goodbye to us. they are smiling,
a chinese grandmother and her little boy. he is hoping
to see the pastor walking his dog
on the next block. she is hoping that home
will open for her when they arrive.
it has taken us long enough
to see them there; it will take them longer
to walk home. the city stretches out before them.
grandmother warns the boy to watch his step.
By Jisoo Choi
Jisoo Choi is a junior at Centennial High School in Maryland. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards and the Letters about Literature Competition of the Library of Congress. In addition to writing poetry, Jisoo plays the viola in several youth orchestras and chamber ensembles in her community.