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POETRY: I Learn How To Write Poetry

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Artwork by Vicky Wang, staff artist

in a world that’s falling

ill, or maybe falling

apart. It takes two mornings for me to fall

in love with a ghost.

I think she lives underground, or

in an abandoned freight car

or maybe

at a Victorian manor with a pool

and a treehouse.

Yesterday, she taught me how to build

a boat to sail on the ocean

in the middle of our backyard.

Later, she prays

in the temple of a four-square court.

She doesn’t believe

in jump rope or polished-nail pinky swears.

Today, she is crying

for her father, who is silently

bleeding out standing up

in the bathroom on the third floor

and does not want to be pitied.

So, she wraps her arms

around my shoulders,

instead of the ones she can’t reach.

Children ought

not to comfort adults.

Tomorrow, she will befriend

someone else

because Peter Pan forgot about Wendy, even after

he gave her a kiss, and I wish

I could see the world

the way she does: pirate ships in mud puddles

and bruises on the sky and

poetry in the space between our breaths.


Catherine Park is a rising senior at the Bergen County Academies in New Jersey. She is a National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medalist and a recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Awards in Arts Education and has earned recognition from the Live Poets Society of NJ. Her work is forthcoming in Aerie International. Besides poetry, her passions include politics, international affairs, and advocacy, and she holds a strong interest in various social and cultural issues of the 21st century. In her free time, she enjoys reading (everything from news articles to YA novels), listening to lo-fi music, and watching Netflix documentaries.

Vicky Wang is a high school sophomore from Jericho, New York. She is loves photography, programming, engineering, and music. Her passion for engineering and love for designing has qualified her and her robotics team a chance to compete at the VEX Robotics state competition amongst fifty other teams, early 2020. Photography is her creative outlet and it allows her to freely express herself and capture the beauty of the world through a lens. When she is not creating, Vicky loves playing badminton, baking, and watching cute dog videos at 3am in the morning.

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