By Akiko Jindo
A list of problems that increase in scale as we progress throughout the week. In a sense, they all reflect the world growing heavier to bear, an incessant drowning of some sort.
Monday: Whispered I’m Okays Minute-long yawns Under-eye luggage From trips to unwanted flashback resorts with flat pillows Tuesday: Withheld secrets Avoidance of eye contact, Her contacts twinkle in permanent violets of Leave Me Alones Wednesday: Picking at pickled delicacies Mom’s cooking tasting so foreign The loud little people chasing each other around Like press offices and Time Square streets An incessant and unbearable chaos Thursday: Deeper dents in the lockers across mine Screams resonate and stolen lunch money lies scattered on the floor We’ll deal with it Fretting parents with cut-off wallets and their toes not reaching the ground on the M4 bus like their dusty five-year-old selves Utter helplessness for themselves and others Friday: Piled Coke cans and clutters of old Christmas gifts The cars zooming carefree while they leave their deadly residue Browned waters to match the soil, an unwanted sort of harmony The ozone layer falls to bits like the plaster on that ceiling Saturday: Pencil stops in place as the bottom of an undying Kindle has been found 24/7 has been maxed out, and yet there’s no brown bag of lunch Her arms’ existence means society will crush her down While the only one percent she’ll ever attain is the one on her chemistry test Sunday: Third class, third world A problem stemmed in greediness and the loss of the sixth sense: morality The embers in the orphaned child’s emerald eyes no longer glistening, Even the tears have dried, leaving a single salt grain The world has grown too heavy like earth whales a.j.
In a weekly session with my mentor and another pair, we read a poem called “American Income” from the New York Times. It defied many traditional styles and rules of poetry, but was nevertheless impactful, discussing racism over the years in America, especially in communicating the weight that Black people have shouldered throughout ages. I came across a line that said, “Fish on the ends of lines that become whales,” which was incredibly powerful. I was inspired by this line and wrote a poem referring to problems that continue to grow as “whales.” I love categorization in poetry and compiled it as a week in a life with each day representing something, from an individual level on Monday to a much more universal level by the end of the week.
Akiko is a senior in high school. She loves art, music and writing poetry. She also loves food and playing tennis, and is passionate about languages and history.