Remembrance: An Index From My Grandmother

April 14, 2023
This story took place in United States

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When you think about kindness, what sights and sounds come to mind? How do you encapsulate such grand feelings of compassion? In partnership with Girls Write Now, Channel Kindness held a poetry contest entitled “Art of Kindness,” and we are proud to to share the winning poem below, written by high school freshman Ariel Zhang!

Remembrance: An Index From My Grandmother


red, orange, all the other iridescent colors like that. 

I think of the things done and undone, raveled and 

unraveled. crocheted bunnies, knitted turtles. 

the sweater I outgrew. white collars browning, 

hushed behind sepia frames. your watercolor koi 

bleeds into colors only you can see. I want to give

my canvas to you. I don’t know if this is the color 

of dawn or dusk. I don’t know where we begin or end.



commonly called forget-me-nots. five petals of sky.

a baby hand. we collected these aqueous antiquities

and kept them like secrets. we spelled out words 

with moons. you taught me such cryptic languages. 

I would spend the rest of my life decoding them. 

now, I spoon quiet words into your mouth

the same way you did when I was little. I want to crawl 

into your lungs and breathe for you. I want to spell it out.

please, forget me not.



we squat in the sun-salted dirt, gutting fruits against 

the backbone of waning things. you peel away 

layers of a papaya with the same ease of taking off 

your own skin. together, we catch the seeds spilling 

like tears. I give them to you, but you don’t remember.

your eyes stare back at me in hollow husks and instead,

we drink tea from tea cups you stole when you were young. 

we smile of the same fragileness of your lips. I promise 

to save the papaya seeds, for you. your eyes are illuminated 

in blooms.



life. we breathe of the grass after rain. your eyes

of flooding waters. words drifting away. you plié. 

your grace as smooth as river stones. 

then a quivering pirouette. an invisible stillness 

reaches for your hand. you leap. airbound.

and I watch you dance.

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