Candy Wrappers

WRITTEN BY CLORIS SHI

I once collected candy wrappers from the playground.

I wiped each clean from soiled tongues, traced faded names like

watermelon, lemon, blue raspberry, gave them new names

like Lisa-why-can’t-you-sit-still pineapple wrapper

like boy-bribed-Lisa green apple wrapper

like nursing-home-front-counter-before-we-let-you-know-grandma-died strawberry  wrapper,

I placed them in my desk.

One afternoon, my teacher reported there was an ant problem.

Perhaps that is why I now sugarcoat the truth,

scared you take candy, leave packaging; take treasure, leave chest,

Perhaps that is why, even now,

when you taste me, you taste only plastic

why when you throw me away, I fold to paper cranes.

Cloris Shi is an incoming high school freshman living in southern California. Her work has been recognized by The New York Times and Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She is passionate about writing and biology. In her free time, Cloris loves to read, cook, and call old friends.