blooming through two cities
Daniela and Shoilee both live in New York City. Shoilee grew up in Queens, and Daniela moved to Brooklyn after growing up in Chicago. The following poems depict their journeys of life in the city.
wandering through the city’s sky
sitting in a rushing time machine the warm lights of the q-train slowly bring tranquility to the little girl as the train lifts itself overground she stares out the window as the brooklyn bridge sends it’s bright smile across the deep blue flowing water of the east river a view to admire from her speeding train the sun begins to sleep as she takes a look, mesmerized at the sky soft peach patches and periwinkle brushstrokes, a soft lavender and passionate citrus color making up the sun setting scene complemented by sparkling building lights she smiles in awe inhaling the view calmly breathing in the light the color the beauty bringing her to peace as she slowly heads back underground
Windy City Winters
The city buzzes with electricity People huddle under the heat lamps Relishing in the warm embrace while the train arrives Silently watching as the last gold threads unravel from the sky The wind rises and takes flight – making her way through the darkness Weaving through her city – unnoticed Floating above the alleyways that swallow secrets She folds through the library’s gargoyles And curves through the concrete lions that guard the city Skyscrapers begin to slow dance with the wind The frosted lake cracks like a burning fire Snow-heavy clouds bask in the shadowed reflection from their favorite sculpted mirror The last train comes to a screeching halt A blanket of snow tucks the city away for the night The wind lets out a heavy roar As she carries the sounds of her city in her wake
on new years eve, i found myself pushing through crowds of tourists, rushing to the train station in fear of not making it home in time. as i sprinted down the stairs, feeling the wind of the train hit me harder each second, it didn’t once occur to me to slow down, until i stumbled into a couple, sharing their last kiss of the year. unlike me, this man was not in a rush at all, regardless of heading home on the same train, as if time suddenly slowed down. after their heartfelt kiss, he wrapped his arms around his love in a tight hug, as he whispered into his ear, “thank you for saving me this year, see you around.” once the train doors opened up, he turned and waved goodbye to him, walking away with a smile on his face. on the very train i had been rushing to catch, he sat down across from me, blushing as his glasses reflected an image of the very man he just savored a beautiful memory with. as a fly on the wall, maybe i’m pulling this all out of assumption, but watching love flourish with such patience and admiration was a reminder, that life can slow down, and life is worth a breath. sonder is beautiful, even in a city of constant rush.
While getting to know each other, the pair noticed both similarities and differences in their experiences in New York and growing up in different cities. Shoilee found inspiration for her poem, “wandering through the city’s sky” simply from a train ride in Manhattan at sunset, capturing the tranquility and beauty of New York in a short moment. As Daniela traveled back to her home city of Chicago last winter, she gained inspiration from the chilly atmosphere and warm spirit of the Chicago transit, contributing to her poem, “Windy City Winters.” The poems thereafter were written during different times and seasons, portraying the growth and movement of each city throughout the year. Both writers hope to capture the essence of growing up in and living in a city through a creative lens.
Shoilee Mandal is a high school sophomore in New York City. She finds inspiration for art and writing through the diversity within her city and beyond, hoping to deepen her understanding of different cultures and voices through journalism, poetry, and short stories.