the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Carolyn Cheng ’24
it is almost the Year of the Rabbit in 1999
and the man and woman walk hand in hand through the flower market,
orchids and shui xian blooming
on the heel ends of their footprints.
it smells like home because it is home,
home to savory steam and fresh fruit, home to
lights of red and gold
spilling onto rain-covered streets,
leaving trails of shimmer behind for wide-eyed children to tread
he looks into the red lantern glow,
a forever flame laughing into the night,
a child giggling in a mother's lap–
the woman squeezes his hand and they're off.
the lantern seems to wave goodbye,
defying darkness to shine
as the man and woman walk ahead.
it is almost the Year of the Rabbit in 2023
and the man and woman are two slow dancers,
lost in a haze of a world of their own–
the California ballroom club melting into Hong Kong streets,
the music from the speaker bleeding into the nightly radio,
couples sway on the dance floor,
twin petals brushing the wind,
time so sickly and sweet no one notices the shadow advancing
until it is too late.
it is the Year of the Rabbit in 2023
and the man makes it past his front porch,
only to rush back inside and latch the door.
white lilies and chrysanthemums blossom
from the living room floor,
and he is a child again, caressing a memory from 24 years ago,
from 24 hours ago
the man looks into the candle glow where
a forever flame dancing into the night
defies darkness to shine.
On Saturday, June 21, a gunman opened fire on a ballroom dance club in Monterey Park, California. 11 people were killed and 9 were wounded.
Rest in Peace:
Mymy Nhan, 65
Xiujuan Yu, 57
Hongying Jian, 62
Yu Lun Kao, 72
Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68
Wen Tau Yu, 64
Ming Wei Ma, 72
Diana Man Ling Tom, 70
Muoi Dai Ung, 67
Chia Ling Yau, 76
Lilan Li, 63