First Steps

April 6, 2008
While gluing plastic buttons
onto my paper plate hat,
the teacher announces:
“During the Festival,
no one will walk alone;

instead, we’ll walk in pairs.”
Crimson flushes my face
as I glance toward a boy
with messy hair. Later,
a phone call. My aunt fills

my ears as she presents a plan:
visit a magical place where mice
speak, elephants fly; where
a castle stretches toward stars.
Magical mystery awaits
the same day as the Festival.
Mom informs her of my decline.

Festival day: the boy, whose playful smirk
overrules my anxiety,
helps me glue on one last ribbon.
As I stride along with him,
I am certain that I am flying
higher than any magic elephant
could ever carry me.

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