Jinhee Byun

Neon Green Ball - Poem by Jinhee Byun

On a weekend morning, smothered
by lethargy, while half-heartedly flipping
through the TV channels, and upon taking
a centisecond's glimpse at Ash Ketchum's face,
I found a friend I lost some weekends ago.

I was with my skates, and he, with a glossy
neon green ball, which glowed brightly on
the sunlit parking lot. With a shy stare, he kicked
the ball, carrying with it his bashful friend request,
and my ambitious foot replied with a loud yell.

Our conversation continued on in silence,
which were only broken by taunting giggles
at missed kicks, the frail clapping
of our soles, and each diminutive punt
echoing through the apartments' walls.

The echo summoned the local rascals
and soon, the complex was filled with playful
shouts, laughter, and mischievous bangs.
With the widest smile and quietest voice
he played, always with his neon green plaything.

As the sun began to muddle the blue sky orange,
hunger, fatigue, and mommies beckoned
the children home. He handed me
his neon green treasure, and told me his name:
Won-Hyuk. The name of my first best friend.

The silence between us crumbled quickly,
But one day, a knock on his door conjured
an unfamiliar face, speaking unexpected words
and unwelcome news. Without a notice,
he disappeared, leaving behind that unpleasant silence,

but also his neon green orb of memories.
The ball is stained with black scuff marks,
and has lost its polished shine, but it never fails
to reflect back his timid smile. And now,
Ash's close-eyed smile never looked more familiar.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

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