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Not Even the Palm Tree Noticed

Jaewon Chang

Taguig, Phillipines

International School of Manilla



my house sat

lost between

   the palm trees

   planted by mother

in her thirties


I was like my father

   venturing lands without moving

     each page a new journey

       to a strange land


Was I who I am

or who I wanted to be?


I was like other boys

trapped in a world

    where the sun,

      like a hummingbird,

        rises and floats away


I learn the faces of numbers

  bodies to explore and tuck

     I am an archaeologist

I dig and reason and find

history in what the earth

has swallowed


but one day    a girl stood outside

of my house     a blooming hibiscus

in the rain    removing glasses

from my eyes


I can still see my change

   beneath that palm tree


There’s a sense of complexity and nostalgia here that I can turn over in my head all day.


Jaewon Chang is a high school sophomore living in the Philippines. He is currently attending International School of Manila, located in Taguig and will graduate in the year 2021. He enjoys solving mathematics and reading books. His lifetime goal is to travel the country on foot and meet mathematicians!

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