Beach Metro News has now published the winning poem from our writing contest, so we’re pleased to replicate it here. Click here to read their interview with Susana Molinolo, who took the prize.
I Am Nine
By Susana Molinolo
I am nine.
These things on my feet feel so weird – first
For my first winter in Canada.
Why are they so heavy?
Why is the snow so pretty,
but the walk to school and back home
is so mean?
I only have one friend. She is magical.
Today she is my red balloon,
floating next to me.
She is always whistling and yawning, and
every day when she sees me,
she taps her heels in secret codes
to remind me that I’m not alone.
Yesterday she was silver and gold
leaning into the afternoon sun
like a beautiful old woman
in a fancy lace shawl and a well-ironed skirt
all dressed nice, just to go across the city for
like my abuela.
At night she is alive, wide-awake, a crystal
I always see teenagers laughing with their
arms tangled around the poles.
So much fun inside their talking.
A shiny celebration, except sometimes I see
that look like mine.
Faces staring at the street, and dark-grey
sadness pouring from the windows.
After school she is different too.
Muddy ankles. Muddy chin.
I can’t see the people behind the dirty windows.
Winter is splashing everywhere
everything is messy
especially on my tongue, twisted and quiet
because English is so hard.
Then one day, I can finally sing O Canada!
I am so happy – even inside the boiling-hot
At night the rented apartment windows are
and my English is getting better.
Is that why I can hear the streetcar, even in
Dear 506 streetcar friend,
Did you know then, that you were my only
You always showed up, even on the loneliest
those throat-aching days
when I was so alone and I could not speak
You were my magic space ship.
You were my teacher.
You were a funny clown,
always playing, hello-goodbye-hello-again.
You were there, screaming and fighting
back, trying your best to save me – when
the bullies would shove me in the snow.
I know how hard you tried, to be my red
dragon. Thank you.
I’m now a grown woman, living at the east
end of the line.
I see you from my house, kissing Eastwood
with your bright red lipstick mouth.
I have never met anyone like you.