Canvas

for teens, by teens

Canvas Teen Literary Journal is published quarterly in print, ebook, web, video, and audio formats.

The road taken

liza zou


Crustaceans chasse and tortoises pirouette, 
fumbling as  foreign words drown
between the brinks of my lips. 
Yearning for my mother tongue, 
English hand-me-downs never draped
my five feet sorrow precisely. 
Twenty-six figures engulfed in desks mimic
the too buoyant lady covering the dusty chalkboard. 
A black book weighs on her palms as the figures
recite of some path not taken—

A road I refused to cross deliberately; I am
a pedestrian drinking the water of predictability, 
eternally sedentary in the midst of normality. 
She marks Charlie as exceptional, 
labels Karen as a distinguished student, 
and deems Daniel extraordinary. Twenty-six figures
attempt to juxtapose themselves against one another. 
My frame lodges itself to match the charcoal chalkboard. 
I was simply ordinary, 
I took the road more traveled


Lisa Zou is a sixteen-year-old junior in Arizona. She is the winner of the Mount Mercy Creative Writing Contest and a 2nd place winner in Writing For Peace's Young Writers Competition. She has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as well as Library of Congress's Letters About Literature. Lisa is currently on a writing scholarship at Mesa Community College and has been published in The Apprentice Writer, The Claremont Review, and the National Poetry Quarterly, among others. In her free time, she enjoys writing speeches and complaining about physics.

© Canvas Literary Journal 2016
Writers & Books
Rochester, NY