The Sun-Flowered Couch

Lachlan Chu, Honorable Mention
Grade 3

My name is the past-tense of my future. Being dual-heritage, I have both Scottish and Chinese names. My Chinese name is Sun-Fai, which means “New Light”. This name was given to me with careful consideration by my parents and my grandparents.

My grandma and grandpa came to this land from Hong Kong to do their masters degrees in Buffalo, New York.

In Buffalo they lived in low-income housing and had almost no furniture. On one rainy afternoon, Grandma went to get a few groceries at the store. On her way back she saw an old, stained couch with a sign on it that said “FREE”. The bad news was that it was stained, but the good news was that it wasn’t broken. Grandpa was in class, so Grandma dragged that couch all the way home. She dragged that couch for one hour despite the fact that she was five months’ pregnant with her first child!

Out of nowhere did I get my energy.

She wasn’t satisfied with that stained old couch and she knew just how to improve it. She bought a cheap but beautiful cloth with flower designs that looked like a field of spring flowers. The petals on the flowers were bright pink with a hint of white, and the middle was lemon-yellow. The stem was grass-green. She worked late at night to sew each and every inch of the cover and make it fit just right. With a part-time job, her classes and studying, this took a long time.

I worked so hard, sewing it by my own hands…it looked as good as new when it was all finished.

I think this couch was so important to my grandmother because it represented that they were going to make a new life with this new baby who would be born American. She was thinking she had a home for her baby and when he was born he would have a couch to sit on with his family.

This I will never forget and I still have the picture of it in my memory.

It was a bright and cheerful time when her baby son was born, and she named him Ming-Fai as his Chinese name, which means “Bright Light”. From my grandma came through the values to not waste and to bring out the happiness in things we already have.

A field of spring flowers,
yellow, green and pink

With bright lights and glee,
A change in the world, just for me

A melody of hope,
Going up a steep slope

A field of spring flowers,
yellow, green and pink

This poem of a couch,
Written in ink