Allison Xu

Life Lesson

From the rainsmeared window,
you watch the old oak tree split

under the punch of lightning.

The greedy tongue of rain licks

the cracked limbs white like bones.

Your dad’s truck already trundled away,

evanesce in the murkiness, beyond your

strained sight. Your mom cries on the floor

and curses about her marriage,

her face sallow in the dim light.

Cocooned in your posh blanket,

you still feel cold, like a leaf trampled

in the storm. A small voice inside you

falters into heavy breathing, then

swells into waves that threaten to bury you.

Everything is temporarya lesson

you have to learn. When daybreak comes,

the broken tree may turn into a scar on the dirt,

as you seal yourself into the shell

that holds you intact.

Allison Xu is a young writer from Rockville, Maryland. Her poems and short stories have been published or are forthcoming in Blue Marble Review, Unbroken, Paper Lanterns, The Daphne Review, Bourgeon Magazine, Secret Attic, and elsewhere. She is currently serving as a senior editor for Polyphony Lit.

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