Meditations on Walking, by Neena Dzur

I have grown quite accustomed
to the 8×10 space of my room
and the way I purse my lips in zoom calls,
and the ugly knots in my hair.

satellites we are
but tableaus on the screen,
our sentience reduced to blue bubbles, brief banter,
space — between you and me and the world
looming, large, wide, aching
lifeless eyes, muddled minds.

I put my feet to pavement to escape
immuring blue light, to feel
my once stagnant heartbeat and
breath blossom with O2 and
flower perfume.

I walk to rediscover hope in
the green leaves turn to amber, turn to nothing at all, in
the shorts become sweatpants become snow pants, in
the melon man and the tomato stand beside the street,
the bluebirds’ sweet soliloquies
reminding of a brighter season to come —

so long as my feet hit this pavement,
so long as golden hues wash upon the sky and
amber leaves flutter from trees
then appear again a brighter green,
I pretermit the 8×10 space of my room and
the pursed lips and hair knots, and
for a moment — I think I remember
what it means to live again.

never before did sunlight
feel so warm
or did life bloom
in unexpected crevices
so beautifully, eternally,
it resides and resounds.

Neena Dzur is a high school junior from Toledo, Ohio. Her work appears in the Daphne Review, Stone Soup, and Teen Ink magazine, and has been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Library of Congress, and the New York Times in their annual summer reading contest. When she’s not writing, editing, or doing schoolwork, she enjoys reading (and re-reading), playing music, and taking long walks.