If We Were Children Once More by Eryn Tan
To Anya (25 March 1999—30 June 2010)
Then time would draw back,
mending your broken body,
and God would have a reason to smile.
We’d be simple, silly girls again,
looking for four-leaf clovers in the dirt,
knowing nothing of funerals and eulogies.
And this time, I’d remember your favorite colors,
enjoy the rhythm of your stammer,
and as we approach that sudden miserable day,
I’d be your voice of reason instead of an accomplice.
This time, I’d keep you far from that decrepit roof
with its fake veneer of solace,
and June 30 would retain its gentle innocence,
another day in a month in a year.
We’d pass that day still unschooled in horror and regret,
and lounge in our childhood a few seconds more,
inventing our futures in crayon drawings and wishful thinking.
If we were children once more,
I promise you wouldn’t be cheated of life,
I promise I’d be better this time,
if you’d only come back
and fill life’s empty spotlight.
©2020 Eryn Tan
Eryn Tan is a Chinese Malaysian currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing in Seattle.