to meet again, in April

to Anthony
the beginning of spring
begins to creep up on us again
as i write this, May 30th, 2008.
the gentle wind blows on my hazelnut hair,
and the joyous cries of children
ring from the neighbors’ yards.
i write this to you because
i guess it reminded me of
when we used to be kids as well.
do you remember
the memories we shared too?
my mother took me to the park
behind my house so we could see
the flowers she liked to paint.
we arrive and are welcomed by
bright tulips revealing their faces as
they spread their petals like wings
while the sun hits
the flowers’ reds, pinks, and purples.
my arms sprawl out while
i pace the fields of long grass.
in the corner of my hooded eyes,
i notice a boy of my age.
we share the limited running space
of bright green grass blades
before mother calls my name,
and i take a sharp turn to my right.
little did i know that would be
when our bodies bump into each other
and we meet for the first time.
the dusk of that same day
April 14, together we conquer
the park hill overhead.
grasslands dotted with
bushes of berries;
you hadn’t noticed then,
but the cobalt of the napkin
from your back pocket
matched that of my skirt.
as you wiped the fruitlet flesh
off your olive cheeks,
i recount your grinning
from ear to ear.
at that moment,
nothing could have prevented
the upwards quirk on
the ends of my lips.
in your company,
time slipped from my hands
like the juice of a fruit popsicle
under the scorching sunrays.
how i wish I could
reach for the soft flesh
on the side of your face
just once more.
i remember the harmonious tunes
you used to sing to me.
at this time,
as the ink hits the paper,
i carry your melody
while i join the choir
of sing-song birds.
the soft breeze whistles
and it has become colder outside.
the juvenile laughter filled with glee
begins to cease as their mothers, too,
call their names.
the clouds meet the sun’s gaze,
and i know, somewhere,
you continue to carol amongst
the fog in the sky.
we are no longer kids,
but do you also wish
to meet again, in April?
love always,
Florence.

This poem won the Poetry Prompt Prize for October 2022. It is inspired by Roo Borson's  writing prompt "Write a Letter”.

 

Poetry Editor Brandon Wint writes about "to meet again, in April" by Elizabeth de Leon-Tavares: 

Elizabeth's poem has a gentle, compelling quality to it. The poem is excellent because of the combination of its fluid narrative quality and its imagery, which evokes nostalgia, longing, tenderness, and the distinct beauty of spring. 

photo of Elizabeth de Leon-Tavares

Elizabeth de Leon-Tavares

Grade: 9 / Sec. III
CENTENIAL REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
GREENFIELD PARK, QC

Though I did not use my actual name to sign the poem, nor did I use the actual name of the addressee, the prompt inspired me to write a letter based on my feelings for someone before they changed completely. I didn't have a specific person in mind as I wrote, but rather a handful of people I've met in my life. I tried to capture that bittersweet retelling of one of your favourite memories from your childhood because it does remind me of how I used to be with a said handful of people before they changed.

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