From your sisterRachel Chen, poetry, 2020
I always told you that 12 would be the most awkward year of your life,
But I didn’t anticipate that you would come of age in a pandemic,
That Hamilton would come out on Disney+ and you would ask me what the hype was all about (you didn’t get it),
That you would flip me off for the first time over FaceTime (as a joke),
That you would ask me “do you support the gay community?” over Instagram (because I haven’t told you about me),
That you would tell me “don’t worry, I only showed Mom your plant pictures, not the other stuff” (because you heard us arguing about anti-Black racism on the phone),
As you turn 13 in quarantine (13 years like 13 tumultuous states).
How do I tell you “no” when you say you want to go back to normal, back to school?
Your world is reopening but it’s not the same,
And you’re so far away from me—I just checked,
there were 10,028 new cases reported at home today.
Rachel Chen is a Toronto-based journalist and creative writer passionate about making the world a better place. She is a Master of Information candidate at the University of Toronto. Most recently, she was an Audience Development Editor for Postmedia and previously wrote for Chatelaine. Her freelance work has appeared in The Unpublished City II, Flare, Vice, Maclean’s, and Xtra, among others.