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By: Upsana Shrestha

Poetry, 2019

When life gives you lemons
You don’t have to make lemonade
Make lemon rice, lemon chicken
Lemon ice-cream
Bake lemon cookies, lemon cake
Ditch the cooking
Make a lemon scrub
And lemon infused oils

When life gives you passion
your body sways
Every time the music comes on
Understand beats faster
Than you could ever comprehend math
And your limbs pull you
To the dancefloor
Forget about the people
Go for what makes you feel
Alive at the end of a long sore day
And just dance

When life gives you passion
And your body sways
Every time the music comes on
But you don’t understand beats
Your sober dance resembles
A monkey that had one too many pina coladas
Dance anyway 

When life gives you humor
you stand on the stage
And all you see is people
You forehead coats with
Sticky sweat
And your heartbeat
sounds like raindrops
Falling on drums
Be brave and let yourself
Be vulnerable
Tell those jokes you practiced
On the mirror
A thousand times

When life gives you words
Write them down
enchant kids with stories
Attack injustice with print
Woo a person with romantic

When life gives you lemons
And you don’t particularly like lemons
Be bold enough to say
You want something different
That you would rather have apples
And oranges
That potatoes call out more to you
Than lemons ever will
You’d rather make French fries
Than lemonade

Be brave enough to veer from
Paths that have been laid out for you
When life gives you lemons
Do a hell lot more that just lemonade