This Spring    by Pichchenda Bao

My son is the first to notice 
the robins have returned.
They are hopping around 
the abandoned pitcher’s mound 
and amidst the clover.
He recognized them 
by the orange flush
of their breast feathers. 
Of this particular skill, 
he is particularly proud.
It's how he owns things.
The shift of clouds,
the sun’s playful transit
in the bright wash of sky.
He searches for the embedded moon
in the ordinary daylight.
He finds rocks 
that he assures me, 
are really crystals.
And rocks that are really 
gravel and unremarkable.
All these,
he collects in his pockets,
along with sidewalk pennies, broken sticks,
leaves leftover from fall.
I should be glad.
Even in this hard city,
he hears the birds 
sing their own songs.
The trees are starting to bud.
And he, too, 
grows relentlessly,
in the direction of all
we do not know.

Pichchenda Bao is a Cambodian American writer and poet, infant survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime, daughter of refugees, and feminist stay-at-home mother in New York City. Her accomplishments include a poetry fellowship from Kundiman and an emerging writer fellowship from Aspen Words. 

Guest Editor José Faus is a founder of the Latino Writers Collective. His writing appears in numerous anthologies. His chapbook This Town Like That was released by Spartan Press. His second book of poetry The Life and Times of Jose Calderon was published by West 39 Press.


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