a nine-year old does not know much of the world

but she thinks she does. because she knows

cartoons and youtube and the kung fu panda saga

cruel jokes on the woodchip playground

bloody knees after falling onto hot asphalt

french grammar packages and recorders

and sadistic choir directors

 

a nine-year old does not know

heartbreak and being dumped in a mcdonalds

but she does know that she really likes oreo mcflurries

she didn’t really understand why

that jiejie was tearing up her floral wallet

the cotton soaked in vengeful tears

she didn’t really understand why

that gege avoided her eyes as he

grabbed his denim herschel backpack and

his half-empty orange smoothie and

left her

 

a nine-year old does not know

why her mother pinched her as she stared

but she does know oreo mcflurries melt really fast

she didn’t really understand why

that girl was being wheeled in by an employee

why her fingers were crooked and her head tilt

sideways and her right arm bent in

and why she had to be fed french fries

but she did know that girl caught her staring

she knew that girl cracked a smile after seeing her

innocent toothy grin

 

a nine-year old does not know much of the world

she knows that now.

 

*Chinese terms:

jiejie = older sister

gege = older brother


Photo: Magda Fou on Unsplash.com