By Zhihua Wang

Wait

Arrive early to check in,
wait for the nurse
to call your name,
wait for the doctor
to come into the room.

I brought a book,
but never bothered
to open. Mind strains
like an alarm is to ring,
a sentence
to be announced.

Wait to take the test,
wait for the result,
then another…
like a bus arriving at a station,
drops some people,
mount some new.

Footsteps far and near,
doors shut and open,
meeting and parting words
at your eardrum,
knocks at a door,
but it’s not yours.

Wait is a way to defeat
will, till an hour
is not an hour, you
are not you.
Like a rosary

missing a few beads,
when you count it
in your hand,
sometimes, only wait
while wait.

Side Effects

People are talking about which vaccine
to take: Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson.
They search online and compare words
for the one with the least side effects.

I delay again and again for my CT scan,
for fear of the dye and the radiation.
The best choice is to have no choice,
get what there is. Tell me a thing

that’s pure good – food wears out organs,
sleeping steals my time, exercising hurts
my bones, reading blurs my vision.
And love – it breaks my heart; as for

this poem, it amplifies moments, examines
nature, and makes me more judgmental.

Take a Bow

When you’re glittering on stage
for your final curtain call,
I’ve retreated from my seat
and left the hall.

Forgive me for leaving you 
without a word, if later, you’ll search
for me in the crowds
and expect to meet my eyes.

Afraid of shuttling 
between people, also don't know 
how to face the you
after costume and makeup.

Take a bow, to you, 
in my heart. The road ahead
is dim, but you’re a full moon,
shining in my world.

Mother

I call you forever
in my most painful moments,
but I won’t tell you.

My eyes are always wet
thinking of my inconsiderate past,
but I won’t let you know.

You are my life coordinate,
portrayed my starting point,
tracing my every movement.

You’re my farthest hometown,
the closest place my heart 
dwells upon. The umbilical

cord we shared was never
cut off, every time we separate,
it binds us together.

Dream

My dream is to have a house
of my own, with forest trails
in its surroundings. Every day,
I can expect a walk outside.

My dream is to have a large table,
on it are all the books I love,
my job is to write my poems.

I dream the sky is blue,
the sun is warm, water is sweet,
food is green, the internet is close,
the world is at a distance,
the only thing I feel short of is time.

Trees

I salute every one of you
that I pass by.
I move constantly,
you're there all the time.

Your abundance
often slows my steps.
Must I set forth endlessly
in order to flourish?

Maybe you pursue
the sky, so you reach up
to your best, like I
imagine happiness

is always ahead
on my road.

Trees at My Window

Every migration
is like a permanent separation.
The trees at my window
have become an everlasting picture.
Whether full in green,
or bare in coldness,
they stand, arms open.

Wherever I go,
trees accompanied my life
will be in my heart, always grow.
Birds are singing,
leaves are falling,
even though everything is lost,
everything comes back.

Zhihua Wang is a poetry candidate in the Arkansas Writers’ MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. She worked as the Managing Editor of Arkana from 2019-2020. Her recent work is shown/forthcoming in Aji Magazine, Last Leaves, San Pedro River Review, Across The Margin, Writers Resist, Eunoia Review and more. 

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