We hunt for treasure chests; we chase
the tails of Flopsy, Mopsy; race
through sprinklers tipsy-topsy-tall
till bedtime falls upon it all.
We conquer garden gnome by gnome
and crown the carrot patches Rome.
I was the sidekick, you the sage
to fairly rule our Golden Age.
And then, in autumn, comes the bus
concocting fumes with spit and fuss.
You shift your backpack, say goodbye;
I sit along the curb and sigh.
I count sheep while I wait, then roam,
then skip rope till the cows come home;
I wander through our garden-realm
and wonder how to take the helm—
then stumble, see a gnome or three,
our pinkie-sworn-off enemy,
but still I sit, begin to talk
and tell our old jokes, knock by knock.
And soon these knocks evolve to tales
of ventures new, with ships and sails,
Venetian boats: vessels to tell
the loneliness I now know well.
And as you vanish, day by day
I learn to spin the sad away.
See, here’s the thing: when you took flight
I first began to learn to write.
Vivian Tsai currently studies computer science and applied math at Johns Hopkins University. She spends her free time doodling, writing letters, and playing tennis with friends.