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The Fortune Tree



it’s beautiful that my mother’s fortune tree
came from the leaf of her mother’s tree.
she missed her funeral because of me.
to me at the time, death was an apple
gone bad, so you’d just pick another one.
true, an apple may rot in the earth and
manifest as something else in another life.
but it will never be the same.
in a way, her mother continues to live
through her tree. i think it’s beautiful that
it grew from the leaf of her mother’s tree.
i swear there’s a poem in there somewhere.

I Think I Add Color To Our Marriage


in my old room, i was 14 again, unready for the world.
neon orange plastic haphazardly cut out of textbook
adhesive covers still taped on my mirror’s edges,
to hide the ugly, brown frame underneath.

my walls were pink & white, pink & white, pink &-
& i began to think of the irony of it, how my father
would never allow a white into my pink—

the sliding closet doors were gone because i slammed
them shut one day out of anger & broke the track.
beaded curtains hung instead to bare my wardrobe.

how to spend your whole life exposed, naked, yet caged.
i was the lone brown egg found in a carton of white eggs.
& how could anyone want an unwanted?

my mother taught me how to fry an egg.
first, you crack it open. then, you pour it in.
medium low heat until it solidifies.

by the end, you wouldn’t know if it came from a white
egg or a brown egg because all yolks run the same.
if my father was still alive, maybe i would’ve told him that.

k.p.fen (she/her) is a Filipina-American who resides in New Jersey with her loving husband and cat. She tries not to define herself by occupation or her mental illness, but recognizes they continue to shape her life.  Her poems appear in The Post Grad Journal and New Note Poetry.  You can find her reading at open mics throughout the state and on Instagram at @inkdroplets.

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