Abigale Wee

Abigale Wee was a freshman in high school when she won first place in the inaugural countywide 2020 Housing Leadership Council Youth Poetry & Art Competition.

Poem on Belonging

GROWING HOME

There’s a certain endearment
About the black and white tiles on the floor 
of Toy Boat Dessert Cafe,
the lingering smell of coffee,
the figurines that line the wall.
I grew a piece of home
in the table next to
the ice-cream-sticky rocking horse. 

I planted a seed of home
between the rocks leading
to the creek where time
seems to flow like honey
and the leaves above make verdant 
stained glass. I watered it 
with trust and peace
so I would never forget
the home I found in friendship. 

There’s the sprout of home among the faded blue seats 
that stand as silent sentinels
in the 3:42 Southbound Caltrain
from Hillsdale station. 
In the Debussy that plays
to the sound of the train, the people 
who seem to live
in a world of their own. 

In the place where the waves crash 
like cymbals against the grainy sand 
revealing shards of shells
and frosty sea glass, 
I hid a tendril of home inside the wave-battered wood. 
I watched as it sent roots, giving life
to the tired grey trunk of the fallen tree. 

The ecstasy of performance is woven
into every branch of my home, like amber 
strung on gold wire.
Amber for the last note of the piece,
the sweet exhaustion as I relinquish 
my hold on the burning energy
that fills my veins when I play music for others. 

When I step back
and look up, towards the sun,
I see the leaves and branches of an oak tree. 
My feet stand next to gnarled roots
that stem from the little seeds of home
that I scattered
and tended around the bay. 

And I know
the oak-tree-home I nurtured 
mapped by the roots on the ground 
will continue to grow. 

Copyright © 2020 by Abigale Wee. Used with permission of the author.