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Mom is sick—
a sad thought but
there is one benefit:
I can finally occupy the kitchen,
the forbidden land of war
where you come out with scars, but always
a reward.

I wear my mother’s green apron
like armor on the battlefield.
I treat ingredients with passion,
sprinkle the seasoning carefully,
make sure to clean up.

With a little bit of confidence,
a trace of nervousness and panic,
I push the pizza
into the oven,
hoping to surprise her.

Floating aroma,
a good heart,
and dedication—
all for my mom.

Alyssa Wu
Alyssa Wu, 13
Pleasanton, CA