Whispering Wall

Lynn TaoFebruary 10, 2022LovePoetry

Artwork by Jessica Denkins

Her grip like water easing around my chubby fingers
a robin’s nest around my hand
slender, radiating warmth
my mother’s callouses brush my palms
Two gaps where my teeth should be in my mouth but I grin anyway
it stretches my face
but somehow seems perfect on hers
two of my clumsy steps matching one of her strides
but I still offer to race.

She turns,
a doe melting into a fawn as she bounds away.
I call her
a baby dolphin chattering after its mother
not toward her receding figure
but directed to my messenger
in the walls of our kingdom.
Four brick walls layered with vines
maybe not fit for royals but
our untouched fantasy.
The waves move sluggishly in the summer heat
but obey; I almost see them ricochet
the joy rustling vines, startling birds
they flutter back to their perches.

We whisper
our echoes grow stronger
slipping out like a wriggling fish from shaky fingers
words flowing smoother without face-to-face contact.
The most obvious truth,
somehow made into a bigger part of itself.
I love you.

even the sun tires of our antics
fading beneath its vibrant lemon hues
darker, richer, it matures into


everything tinges with
that orange tint, but more,
as if the color has come to life
breathing, gathering a personality
a drop of the sun
my index finger encircles the rim of the candy
placing it like a spectacle before my eye.

The world becomes gold
its imperfections smooth out
like the sweet orb in my hand.

The hum of the train barely noticeable
its movements sleek, swift and modern
we could be at a standstill
but the betraying scenery flashes by in seconds.

My mom sits across from me in our
vast compartment,
her cheeks
less full, somehow
the angles of her face prominent,
creases line her forehead
and her hands, folded
in her lap.
She still sits at a right angle
her chin raised, staring
at something in the distance
that I can’t see,
tilting her head, maybe

if I were to whisper to her now,
the echoes bouncing through the compartment
will inevitably reach her ears,
but does she remember?
will it be enough to bridge our growing gap?
I face the train walls
breathing life into my truth.
I love you.

palms open
her fingertips beckon
connecting us
her eyes closed
she inhales
as if cherishing a faint scent of rose
the corners of her lips tug up;
a budding moon.

Lynn Tao is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, and in her free time she loves writing, composing pieces on the violin, and playing with her two mini poodles!