The last time we walked together was
last autumn,
just me and halmeoni.
Our bodies coated
by a skin of fallen leaves.
I brushed them off
her graying hair.
Scents of cider and decay
blanketed the husky air.
A horde of tall danpung trees
surrounded us,
slowly shedding auburn leaves.
I hear her voice
half eaten by the wind,
struggling to shape her lips into words
“My sonju, you’ve gotten so big.”
The blue skies turn to gold
and I hear a whisper:
“It’s getting late my dear,
we should head home.”
I took her hand, hers with the roughness
of leather, and headed back home.
That autumn
was the last time
I felt small again.

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Chris Lim is a 14-year-old middle school student from the Philippines. He likes competing in math competitions and reading the poet Thanhha Lai. He also successfully rehearsed a two-page monologue in his school play.