cherries plucked 

nimble fingers stained crimson, 

dirt and acrid fragrance 

etched on the lines of my mother’s and father’s hands 

starling pods, 

nestled within the fruit 

sing of opportunity 


and slowly roast under the sun 

skin blistering, feet crying

coffee beans: 

The Anthem of Hardship and Perseverance

coffee milled and ground 

freshly roasted 

acrid, bitter, sweet, sour 

swimming in 

$40 ceramic cup 

cradled in thankless hands 


I taste the tears that sit upon my tongue 

I hear the anthems that rise and fall 

I taste the liquid, vile and foul 

and I mumble, 

“More. More”

Success is guaranteed through hard work.  

I drink. 

Success is the absence of burden for the hands that plucked the stars from the sky. 

I drink. 

Success is a whisper of thanks—the bare minimum. 

I drink. 

brain chemistry altered

trembling hands clasped in prayer, stretched out  

for thanks 

for forgiveness 

for everything and nothing in between 

and I continue. I work. 

I sacrifice and dream and blame and hate and love and hope 

I dip the Bread 

Soak the coffee 

and chew. 



stardust and bread 

settle in my stomach 

and I drink 

Again and again

For I, too, must harvest

Photo Credit:

Written by

Eliana Jeong

Eliana Jeong, senior, enjoys reading, writing, and watching plays/musicals. She does archery competitively and also plays the cello. She looks forward to delving deeper in her passion for Psychology and Political Science. She is the co-president of Diffusion, and hopes to learn more about the world of Humanities.