Thank you to our patrons for sending us their poems in honor of National Poetry Month—and now it’s our pleasure to share them with you!

And be sure to join us at the Library for our poetry-related events for the rest of April and beyond!








One Year Ago
by Agnes Wong

I see the melancholy in my mirror as I rise and remember
One year ago I lost my father the 31st of December
I hear a silence that replays its own piercing echo
One year ago an audience sat in mourning row after row
I smell the fragrant flowers many offered in kind gesture
One year ago I laid some gently about his peaceful posture
I touch a replica of his portrait that perched tall on a stand
One year ago his smile reached out that day to hold my hand
I taste the bitterness of my swallow near my part in the ceremony
One year ago I read a letter saluting dear father's memory
Today I need to weep and face my grief in the senses I expressed
Tomorrow I'll find strength to bid him Happy New Year where he rests


The Way Fish Move
by Shoshana Goldman

Silver darts swerving madly.
Hues of rainbows floating angelically.
Half cats gliding along the pebbled water roads.
Little pink crabs scuttling along the sandy shore.
Rows of spears along a sleek menacing predator
looking for prey.
A mysterious giant (bubblegum) squid waiting
in the deep dark shadows of the most perilous waters.
Swerving, floating, gliding, scuttling, looking,
waiting fish of the 7 oceans.


by Michael P. Kusen

Queens is a patchwork quilt of more than ninety neighborhoods,
From Astoria to Jamaica, from Glen Oaks to Briarwood.
And almost half of all the people who now reside in Queens
Came here from other countries, following their dreams.

A salad bowl or melting pot, take your choice of metaphor— 
That’s what Queens now represents, “America’s open door.”
There is no place on the earth of such diversity,
Mixing languages and cultures in a free democracy.

We reflect the people of the world in all our different ways.
And we strive to get along and sing each other’s praise.
We are a living symbol of cooperation—
Queens, all by itself, is like a mini-nation.

We live proudly in this borough of the City of New York  
With all our mix of cultures and accents when we talk.
So be proud, my fellow residents, knowing what it means
To be all stitched together in the patchwork quilt of Queens!


Teeth Falling Out
by Qi-Hong Zheng

We both dreamt that all our teeth fell out that one night.
According to Freud,
We both wish to be nurtured by each other’s presence
Day and night.
Like Drake said, you’re just negative energy to feed off of.
Mama, aren’t you tired of putting me down?
Why do you let my tears drown you in your insecurities and self-image?
Let my smile and laughter bring your life to a balance.
Mama, I’m begging you.
How are we so in sync in our dreams
Yet so out of touch in reality?
You were born on 0218,
I’m born on 0812.
My only wish this birthday is to make things less complicated
between me and you.
Perhaps this dream can be interpreted by Carl Jung,
and let this be a rebirth of what is already said and done.


All poems copyright 2016 Queens Library and the individual authors.