(For the children aborted or separated from their biological parents as a result of China’s
mandated one-child policy which restricted most couples to have only one child)
In a snakelike dream, oolong stretches
to a sun-dried face pressed up against concrete,
nose breathing in the soles of sweetly caked dirt.
This overpopulated city. This overrun city.
Neon signs pass a loveless woman’s eyes,
time going under in maple blur.
She listens closely to the current of people going home.
Filled to the brim with harmony of grandmama’s cooking
and the light of their lovers laughing in their stomachs
when she herself holds an empty belly
void of her daughter, void of the light of her life
empty without the lovesong of her child.
Woman cradles her aching feet, the rhythm of her body
going back and forth, back and forth
Sway. Forth and back.
Blood bruises in a desolate color beneath her palms and legs
in the shape of plum hearts.
Woman feels for bright peony plumps
where cold air grips her thumb.
There can only be one, she knows.
One body of damp breaths,
a single cry echoing from the womb.
Half a lullaby to a one child policy.
Emily Wang is a high school student that currently resides in Montville, New Jersey. She has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing awards and aims to use writing as a means to express emotions that can’t be confined to a single word. She can usually be found watching films or brewing tea.