2011 Fire Escape Poetry Contest: Third Prize

Playing Between Two Worlds
by Jingyi China/MD, age 15

The girl delicately plucks the strings of the zither
creating a rich and harmonious music that no one else can seem to understand.
Music flows out, soft and graceful against the backdrop of run down apartments;
with trinkets strewn about on the hard pavement sidewalks, vying for attention.
The music becomes louder and more demanding
as cars zoom thoughtlessly across the tumbling streets, thinking not of lights nor people.
Everything is shaded with hues of brilliant red and sunlight yellow
reminding people of glory, pride and trust.
The music continues, with tired bodies walking home against a brilliant fading street, dim and worn down, holding bags upon heavy bags of groceries barely tumbling out.
The girl smiles, nonchalant and undaunted, not afraid;
bravely playing alongside the border of two very different worlds.

Photo Credit: Clyde Robinson via Creative Commons

Jingyi on Life Between Cultures:
The hardest thing about balancing two cultures is being dedicated to both. Sometimes, it's impossible because cultures are often completely different and independent of each other. The best thing about being a part of two cultures is the different types of food you get to eat and the fact that you fit in with two completely different groups of people.