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I look for you in the white
of my eyes and in my dogs, 
the reflection of my spoon, 
in the pool of our first house

What can I do? when I feel Winter
coming in the tickle of my throat.
What is there to do
when I smell flowers blooming

Feel people leaving and coming
and staying before they do?​ ​Between
breaths, I work on not waiting anymore and
blurring out the noise of premature footsteps.

Did you know my heart ticks? 
That’s why I can’t stop waiting. 
Cannot stop holding onto seconds, 
hoarding them under my tongue.

The change of seconds and seasons
and you fills my lungs, and
my head, the tears of my eyes, 
the tug of the corners of my mouth

in things I say to people because
I can feel the seasons
change before they do.

from the faucet of my sink?
Hear the strands of my mom’s hair  
changing like leaves about to fall?

On smiling at the sound
of my great aunt calling me
my sister’s name and forgetting mine

You showed me that my parents are people. 
That you will bring me more winters
and more springs.

and the flinch of my heart.
i can hear my angels before
they have left their bodies

 

Mckenzie Baker

Wake Forest '21

Mckenzie Baker is a 20 year old with roots in Memphis, TN and Atlanta, Ga. She enjoys writing about identity and time. She is currently a third year at Wake Forest University and her favorite smell is freshly cut grass.
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