This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Jennifer Wong Poem
Girls from my class

The best girls in my class never wore a blazer. Just royal blue 棉納 lined with camel silk. Carol filled her journal with ufo and disappearances. At home Denise was banned from watching Chinese TV programmes. If you don’t blow-dry your hair completely, you will be cursed with lifelong headache in old age. The first year in high school, I failed in English because I wasn’t sure what an essay was. Mother never praised me except for my ability spit-ting out the thinnest fishbones. For a long time I wanted to be a nun because they looked so tranquil, so perfect. My classmates knew how I loved my Chinese teacher, my exercise book filled with her smiles, her dresses. I never travelled anywhere before eighteen. When I first arrived England I couldn’t believe how big the country is, I who have never had a proper country to start with. Then the day that first man I thought the world of, pushed me down and said I’d love to do it with you on the floor. If you keep digging, sooner or later you might end up reaching a volcano. And that day when you decided to be a poet, what on earth were you thinking?
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