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Lillian Troung: “Souvenirs”

THE NEXT GEN

Souvenirs

I come across many things
Things that are not of this world
They are my souvenirs.
Something to remind me of my journey
A clean white cloth perfect for a table
A necklace with feathers from an unknown bird
A twisted fork found in the deepest of depths.
A golden bracelet in a form of a snake
A glass bottle that can hold even the deadliest of liquids.
A blue lightbulb that is neither burns or dies out
A spool of thread that never runs out
They all seem confusing to a normal person.
But to me they hold a greater meaning
These are my treasures I hold close.
I have come across many things
And I will travel to new worlds
But these will be something I hold importance
Because they remind me of the people, I met
Along the way

*

The White Cloth

My first stop on my trip was filled with tea parties
The host was very strict on etiquette no matter how bizarre they are
No cats
No chestnuts
No lemon tea
The host expect these rules to be followed
The other guests were Mr. Blue and Mr. Red
There were others but they were escorted out by Mr. Orange and Green
“Because they didn’t have manners”
According to the host
After the tea part, the host ask if there was anything I like
“Rule 602 says there should be a parting present for the guest”
I said I wanted the tablecloth
For not a single drop or crumb has fallen on it
I was given it without question
And then
I left

*

The Feather Necklace

My next stop was met with dryness and jungle
Flora and Fauna were unknown to me
But then I saw something familiar
A lion, a hyena, and a wolf
They seem to be playing a game
It looked like football, but the ball was a frisbee
I was invited to keep score by them
As I watched, I noticed things
Lion was smart a cheater
Hyena was agile and sneaky
Wolf hides nothing and show his heart
No one won that day
A reptile took the disc before it started
Lion went to bed
Hyena went to work
Wolf gave me a necklace
The feathers felt soft and wispy
Yet sturdy and tough
I ask the name of the bird
Wolf just stared
Then left

*

The Twisted Fork

I was hungry so I stopped for a bite
I heard of a nice restaurant
Has the food anyone would want
Generous host
Just didn’t expect it to be underwater
A restaurant under the ocean
All kept dry with a glass dome
I met the Manager who was an octopus
With his many arms, he can handle many tasks
Then I met the waiter brothers
Left and Right
Left was the more energetic waiter
Right acted professional
The food was vibrant and felt welcoming
The utensils were unfamiliar
How do eat with a bent spoon?
How do you cut with a crooked knife?
Do you twirl with fork or must the fork be twirled first?
Left kept asking about my travels
Right asked if my food was okay
Somehow, I finished my meal
Octopus told me I could keep the fork
“A story for a fork” he said
I told of him the tale of the tea party
I left at closing time

*

The Golden Snake

The desert is harsh
The desert is unforgiving
The desert is unrelenting
But I found myself paradise at the oasis
A friendly otter greeted me when I entered
He even prepared a party for me
The cobra next to him just sighs
They were different from one another
Like the sun and moon
But they were friends
Like peanut butter and jelly
Coconuts was the theme of the party
The oasis was decorated with coconuts
While the otter basked in the sun with the guests
Cobra chose the shade and watched
I drank the coconut milk
Otter was sad when I told him I had to go
Cobra seemed sad too
The otter dove into the water and gave me a goodbye present
A golden bracelet in a shape of a snake
Cobra was shy about it
I hoped to seem them soon

*

The Glass Bottle

My path has led me to a castle
The oldest one in the lands I heard
My old friend Mr. Songbird told me to come by
I entered without second thought
Mr. Seagull asked where I’m from
“Anywhere” I said
He took that answer
Mr. Peacock sat on his throne
Yet he was not a king
Mr. Peacock scolded Mr. Songbird
He never told Mr. Peacock on my visit
But he was feeling kind today
The servants whisked me away
“To look presentable” he said
Lavender, rose, sage
All in the effort to cover the smell of dust I was doused in
Mr. Seagull told me Mr. Peacock was waiting with the root vegetables.
I went there
Mr. Peacock held his head high and walked like he was in a catwalk
I imagined his feathers would fan out if he was a real peacock
He told me a story on the last king
How he rose
How he ruled
How he fell
It was tragic for him to fall from the most potent of poisons
As I left the building
Mr. Songbird came
And gave me a empty glass bottle
He told me Mr. Peacock made it
To hold any liquid
Like the deadliest poisons
I left with my mind to create theories

*

The Blue Lightbulb

I found myself wandering in the fog
Not a single inch of ground were revealed to me
My only sight were the blue lights
I bumped into a pair
Mr. Flame and his young brother, Little Wisp
Mr. Flame tried to hide in his big coat of his
Little Wisp waved at me, eyes shining through his shades
I shook hands
Both were cold
I asked them if they know their way around here
Little Wisp said they do and Mr. Flame contributed
Mr. Flame looked like he wanted to disappear
I asked for directions for the exit
Little Wisp just smiled and grabbed my hand
He wanted to guide me the way out
Mr. Flame mumbled to himself
Little wisp loves to talk about Mr. Flame
Thanks to them I was out of the fog
But it wasn’t done yet
Mr. Flame for the first time I met him
Spoke clearly
“Should you ever find yourself in a foggy land”
A shining blue lightbulb
It felt cold in my hands
The pair seemed to fade into the fog
Like they belonged there
The light never burnt out

*

The Endless Spool

I’ve seen many forests in my journey
But I have never seen one where the wood was black
And the grass choked on the thorns
The weather was dreary
Dark cloud never wanted to go away
A pink bat surprised me
Told me I have to see something important
I followed
A smoking black hill greeted me
Only that it was breathing
It moved
And it wasn’t a hill
It was a dragon
A loud clang
And I found myself interrogated by men in armor
Knight Sword and Knight Shield
The pink bat squeaked at them
They seem to understand and lowered their weapons
And told me a story of the lonely dragon
A tale of a dragon was born and was guarded by knights for his whole life
Because the king feared the beast’s power
A tale of a bat always came to visit this dragon
Because he was lonely
A tale of how the dragon escaped
And flew far far away
And made home in this forest
The Sword and Shield stops anyone from approaching
For they want no harm come to the creature
But the dragon was still lonely
And never knew what the world was like
That is why bat brought me here
I sat next to the slumbering dragon
And told him my story
Of the White Cloth
Of the Feather Necklace
Of the Twisted Fork
Of the Golden Snake
Of the Glass Bottle
Of the Blue Lightbulb
I told him the people I met
My experience
And how it was special to me
He smiled
With closed eyes
His wings opened and a spool of thread falls out
Although he never said a word
I understood what he said
I left with another memory for my collection
To another world

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