2022 Merit Award
By Vincent Tsan

You are like your house
Earthy and youthful
And all the smells you cook yourself into

You are your backyard garden, transformed from hand
The wooden bed with summer kale and beets

You are the tarp you made that protects your foyer
And the pieces of dark sturdy wood that bind your house
That is still there when I come over

You gave life to the thanksgiving party
Cranberry cider and shrimp chips fizz in my mouth

On the top of your tall staircase is
A party of rubber ducks with various costumes
You make ME look forward to growing up
So I can buy my own house

I will buy rubber ducks
And through living, I will become a house

You are life at the purest form,
I love you Yee Ma

*Copyright © 2022 by Vincent Tsan. Broadside illustrated by Christian Anne Smith.

Poet’s bio:
“My name is Vincent Tsan. I am 18 years old. This is my first published poem. I will graduate from Sehome High School and plan to attend WWU. My favorite food is either dumplings or char siu bao (Chinese Barbecue Pork bread). ‘Yee Ma and her Homey Vibe’ is about being excited to grow up. Yee Ma means Aunt in Cantonese, which is my native tongue. Her home is one of my favorite places in the world and I celebrate many fun holidays at her house. I want a house like hers when it is the time for me to buy my own home.”

NOTE: a chapbook of the 2022 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest winning poems, including this one, is available at Village Books in Bellingham. All sales profits benefit the annual contest.

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