About the Column:
Poems of Our Climate is a weekly poetry column run by Sofia Baluyut ’23. The column was founded by Oliver Egger ’23 as a part of the literary magazine group Route 9. Submit and read past issues of The Lavender at Route9.org. If you are interested in having your poem featured in this column, Poems of Our Climate, please email your work directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After Martín Espada
This is where the student loosens her muscles
from the library and lies down, her mind
breaks from the hard bone of calculus to write the dream
of a poem. The roof unfolds to reveal the sky,
trembling like piano strings.
This is where the mother shuts off her computer. She has ignored
her body for years. Her heart is a brass yellow drum
pounding signals of urgent need to her brain. Her body
follows her heart. She grabs her electric scooter,
the wind carries wisps of her hair, the breath of the universe,
she has never known the world like this before.
This is where the man closes his eyes after punching out.
The bang and drum of the soybean factory
hammers through conveyor belt capillaries.
He listens to his heart
remembers that it connects
to the veins in his wrists.
Beneath his eyelids there is his mother.
It is morning time in Anhui.
She makes a pot of tea, steam unfurling
as she sings an old song.
About the Poet:
Emily Chen ’23 is a writer from Lexington, Massachusetts with roots in Anhui and Fujian provinces in China. They can be reached at email@example.com.