Komorebi [JAPAN]

Inez Close
When a gappy smile tugged at the corners of my mouth,
My eyes crinkled like the newspaper
As dad flicked through the pages,
And tilted the frames of his thick glasses,
He licked a finger to turn to the next page
And I licked at my ice lolly. 
The sun beating down on our scalps,
His brows knitted together as he read. 
Mum was in the kitchen
And her busy hands knitted away at a scarf.
When the trees were bare and stripped of their leaves,
I hid behind my scarf as the snow flushed my cheeks. 
As mum packed the snow
To mould the snowman we had made,
Dad helped me pack for a trip back to England. 
I was bubbling with excitement to see my grandparents
And to visit my home country. 
When the air was less bitter and less cold,
It was thick and held memories that hung heavy. 
Wilted sakura petals flitted in the harsh wind
That swept through the streets 
Of the only real home I'd ever known. 

Inez Close is a thirteen-year-old who was born and raised in Japan and grew up attending The British School in Tokyo, despite both her parents being of English/Irish descent. Her many interests include spending time with her dog, listening to music, and watching horror movies. Growing up surrounded by the rich culture and breathtaking landscapes of Tokyo inspired a deep love for writing, in particular poetry. Through writing poems reflecting her own experiences, Inez hopes to capture the essence of life in Japan and share that vision with others.

"Snowman" by jasonbolonski is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!