Poems

CHRISTINE SHAN SHAN HOU
Playground

When I am tired
I lay my head down in a tunnel to rest
It is not possible to live your best
Life in a tunnel
Even if there are holes punctured
Along the sides of it
Holes designed for children
to look out into the world
A way of compartmentalizing
abstract thoughts
That are small enough to fit
In the palm of my hand
What is the difference between a trowel
and this here, toy trowel?
What does it mean to be more adult-like?
Digging into our beliefs can help us stay
Committed to our morals when the fight
gets bleak
When my daughter grows tired she lays
her head down in a tunnel to rest
She is so small that she could stand upright
inside of it
While for me
it is just another crawlspace
The difference between me and my daughter
is size and money
And a handful of hormones
Giving money away because it feels good
can be described as philanthropy
I could purchase this land
with my two hands any day of the week

Christine Shan Shan Hou is a poet, artist, and yoga instructor based in Brooklyn, NY.  Publications include Community Garden for Lonely Girls (Gramma Poetry 2017) and “I’m Sunlight” (The Song Cave 2016). christinehou.com