One Year

It’s been one year since we left at a golden hour in Boston, and arrived at another on the other side of the ocean. I know exactly what I wore that morning to hug my mother and ten hours later in the same cotton I bought peaches many, many miles away from her. Then the year goes by slowly, quickly, thoroughly. I form an accent and I learn that there are a whole lot of places and things to see. I am fed so much happiness in Warsaw that my stomach explodes and it showers down on everyone around me. And then, there’s something named grief that occurs at the end. Defined as “deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death,” the death is an adored home. At first, coming back provided relaxation. Smiling because I was in my own bed and I could see the ocean in summer light and familiar faces around the block again. I had breathing room in my room. The world was just as I had left it. But, soon enough, I found myself subconsciously making up excuses to buy subway tickets and walk on…

Short Review of Year

I dreaded finals. Not for the studying and stress, but for what they symbolized: an end. A conclusion to a year that always felt like a dream, never a reality. Between memorizing dates and formulas, I spent multiple showers mumbling all that came to my mind about all that the world I jumped into had taught me. I found that the most poetic and interesting dialogue came from simply mumbling while water dripped into my mouth and down my face. Only sometimes if the poetry was too powerful did it force me to stop and wipe the water off.  I started writing this review in November. I had thought about all I would say at the end on the first day of school. All the beauty I would pay tribute to, all the gratitude my words needed to express. I wondered what I would be thinking when there would be nothing left but to click my seatbelt and pull it tight on the plane. When the time came, I thought about nothing.It didn’t feel like ten months. Perhaps it never will. Still, there were many moments th…

Letter to My Thirteen Year Old Self

Dear Claire,
Hi. I know there’s a lot going through your head right now and that there’s lots of people telling you a lot of different things, but just sit down and listen to me for a moment. You’re okay. Stop shaking. Breathe. Inhale, exhale. Three times. Deeply. It's going to be okay. I know your heart is eager for an explanation about what is going on. I’m here to tell you that you’re experiencing growing pains. Severe ones, but don’t worry. You’ll grow out of them just like your favorite navy polka dotted mini skirt. The pain your feeling is the realization that the world is scary. You have found that some people are mean and that life can be cruel. You are afraid. This paralyzing fright inside you needs to be let out, and the hospital gown you currently wear reflects this. Let me assure you, though, through this letter, that this fright does not mean the world is any less spectacularly beautiful, nor life is any less worth living. First, some advice: for the next couple of months…

A Poem of Spring

Light through window panes even when it rains A smile when awoken by orange sky
Fruit and flower stands Bike riding plans Daffodils in hands
Fistfuls of grass Picnic snacks  Bird songs  If outside, no wrongs. 
Green fields  White clouds Blue skies  Breeze in hair makes you feel alive.
Bicycles, roller-skates, scooters Blue bells, tulips, cherry blossoms Sun, sun, sun Smiles, smiles, smiles.


When I was six years old, my twenty two year old sister told me, “you don’t want to grow up, trust me.” But at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to grow up. I wanted to be tall like her, so I could reach the top shelf where the cookies were hidden. I envied her maturity and composure.  When I was eight, I wanted to be nine because the girl who lived in the house behind mine boasted about her seniority as she was a year older than me. She received homework twice a week and her parents didn’t scold her for using the word stupid. I wanted homework, I wanted to use the word stupid.  When I was ten, I wanted to be eleven because ten was the first double digit. Eleven seemed like the real deal.  When I was twelve, I wanted to be thirteen because thirteen was the age that turned a tween into a teen. When I was fourteen, I wanted to be fifteen because I hated being the same age as some eighth graders when I was in ninth grade. When I was fifteen years and 25 days old, for the first time in m…

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President,  Why do we need a wall if we are free and brave? 
Dear Mr. President,  The golden rule of my childhood, hung up on every elementary school wall in every classroom, was “treat others how you want to be treated.” Do you want to be shunned because of your location or religion?
Dear Mr. President,  Why do you pinch my clean white cheeks and tell me how much my dreams are worth, but shy away from the children stained with blood and debris from fallen buildings? 
Dear Mr. President,  Doesn’t the Bible preach to accept and help whoever you can?  I would inform you that they say the same in the Torah and the Quran, but I am afraid you might clog your ears if I speak either of those words. 
Dear Mr. President, At what second did America become ‘not great’?  
Dear Mr. President,  Why is it that human sympathy and benevolence towards others hardens like paint on a wall or tea left out in the snow at a certain age? 

Dear Mr. President, 
Is oil more important than life? 
Dear Mr. President,  W…

A Poem of Winter

Rosy cheeks, heavy clothing, runny noses Hot chocolate and tea Meals of soup and meat
Naked trees Snow up to your knees Smoke dancing out of chimneys
Sledding the parks Skating the rinks After play, warm hands in the sink

Frozen cars, frozen toes, frozen ponds  Frozen hopes for heat  
“Only a few more months!” a woman squeaks