★ ★ ★ ★


The Stranger

A stranger in my house
on the cornerstone—
a fair, curious, gentle creature
who works at the steps

every morn, before the sun travels across the sky,
she rises and bakes a breakfast
fit for two hundred men
then dusts the floors, drawers, windowsill,
and opens her store.

The sun is a dime in the sky
when the children pass by with proud eyes
blowing kisses to their father,
who tips them back with
a gentle knock from
his scarlet wine glass.

She works till the moon rolls in the hazy gloom,
until the house shudders from strain,
and the windows are barred and locked,
until the children dream on,
until steps are heard on the stairs—
a little less than human…

a stranger in my house
on the cornerstone—
a broken, weary, thin creature
who never lived one day.

Note: This poem was inspired by a news article and human rights videos

Vivian Li enjoys exploring obscure and intriguing concepts. She also likes to play piano, sing, take nature walks, write poetry, read, and learn about physics. She is currently studying at the University of Toronto, and has been awarded Gold and Silver Keys from Scholastic Awards for her poetry. Her work has been published in The Window, The Strand Magazine, and The Victoriad.