Literary Yard

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‘I say proudly’ and other poems by Preston Chan

By: Preston Chan

I say proudly…

Another person couldn’t say it.
Just … couldn’t say it.
The disdained fear embodied her visible complexion —
Fear that wasn’t there just two moments ago.

“It’s a hearing aid,”
I’ll always say,
Like the sound of a neglected, scratched off VHS tape
On repeat.
She knew what it was.

His? Her? Does it really matter?
They always think they know.

One second,
I’m simply a normal 16-year-old boy
Doing what 16-year-old boys do.

The next,
I’m the circus freak with the hearing aid
That parents hide their kids from,
If the clown gets a little too close for comfort.
And so, every encounter is marked by disgust,
With tinges of unease.

Thus, the circus freak
Must stay confined
In a looking glass for visitors to gawk in contempt.

This colorful junk, piece of plastic pervades,
My clothes,
My face,
My personality.
It is what it is — a pitiful case for people to play charades with

I need it,
Like the proud thumb to a
Functioning, viable hand.
Though, in this reality,
People would rather me thumbless,
To avoid having to discern what creature I am.

First impressions aren’t everything—I’ve learned.
Or at least, I have forced them so they wouldn’t be.

I recollect my posture, slap on a smile, and open my mouth,
Aiming blindly to change the misconstrued notions they might have about an outlaw such as I.

I could wear a hoodie, so no one sees.
I could not wear it, so I can’t hear.
I could walk away, maybe just let this one slide.
But that isn’t right.

If I let this one slide, that means there will be more than just this one.
It means injustice — injustice

For all people with hearing aids,
For all people with a little melanin on their skin,
For all people who are tired of being looked down upon
For something that doesn’t define them.

And that’s why, I won’t let it slide.

I recollect my posture,
Slap on a smile,
And I say proudly…
“It’s a hearing aid.”


An Ode to Hong Kong

Modest as an island could be,
she holds the truths
to Her millions of adoring subjects —
all ready to keep Her ancient heart pumping with

love, culture, and

The majesty represents the universal symbol of everything
and anything we wanted to be; she presents
iridescent diamonds and rambunctious rubies
in a tinted glass box,
bestowing Her children to whatever she mustered.

In due time, there ignited
dim sum delights, bustling sea harbors,
and a joyous people,
with the Hong Kong identity seared right into their essence,
just as Her own.

Every single day,
misty morning air glistens with golden flakes,
as the invigorated people
rise up, along with the crackling sun.

Against favorable odds,
what seemed like a slumbering, eerie threat
came swiftly in a cardiac arrest.
Wounded, and befuddled,
our liege was knocked dumbfounded,
knees scraped — disillusioned of the minor cut on Her hemorrhaging heart.

And so?

He thought he could take her powers.
He thought he could take her democracy.
He thought he could take her freedom.
But that was only in thought.

We the people,
stood right back up on our weary feet,
patted the tepid soil off our clothes,
and stitched up Her minor cut.

A commendable attempt to stop Her heart,
but an attempt
is only
an attempt.

We the people will do
what we the people
will do: we fight back.


Suburbia Haze

Withered skins
take part
in the basking
of the sun.

Surreal shelter
becomes mere
attraction for
eyes to peer at.

Brilliant red bricks
pave streets that
take notice away
from buxom clouds.

The ultimatum
of high class living
is simple: the perception of
distinction within the pits of

Nevertheless, arrogance
feigns ignorance
in this perennial
suburbia haze.


Of The Snow

The glistening snow on my back
Halts the frozen death around me.
Looking down, four delicate fluffs of snow
Oh wait, that’s only me.
I look around, nothing beyond yonder except
An endless dark mahogany array of lifeless trees.
No thing in sight, so shall I ask
What am I doing here?
Daringly sickening like a silver bullet,
At the nook of black eyes,
A grieving leaf falls angelically
To meet its fate as a hidden gem in the white.
Quiet, although failing to silence melancholy.
White, yet lies ominous black that is ever so present.
The seeming balance is outraged
As she weeps in her Siberian fit.
But alas, the ache for something more.
Letting that brass-white light whisk me far far away.
I guess I was not to be.
Perhaps destined — to be a gem of the free.


Orange Abyss

I look up to the orange abyss
And it isn’t there anymore.
The full-bodied moon is no more.
But was it ever more?

Where did you go,
My sweet plum in the sky?
You know my eyes are crippled
without you guiding me.

This place,
Of nooks and turns and upsides and downs,
Ain’t that easy to walk around.
I’ll end up bleeding from my own thirsty tongue
Without you.

Please come back to me.
Shine for me one more time.
Well, I don’t even remember
The last time you brilliantly shined.

So why did you go?
Don’t leave me high and dry.
You know this imposter sunshine is really your fault.

Sunshine likes to scorch me,
Whilst forcing me dance on only
One of my five toes.
Don’t you forget.

Remember when I gave
Those other five to you.
The toes came along the rest
Of my leg.

Wasn’t that romantic?
We should do that again some time.
But, no.

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