Eric Zhang


Eric Zhang lives in Potomac,
Md. He is a junior at Winston
Churchill High School and
is passionate about math,
science and engineering. Eric
also loves writing poems,
opinion essays and research
papers. In his free time, he
plays chess and draws art.

Shooting Stars Let Go


by: Eric Zhang

Inspired by Clint Smith
American writer, poet, and scholar

Once dreaming to be an astronaut.
A small child visiting Kennedy Space Center,
standing beneath majestic engines,
looking up at the wings of Discovery
rockets that, against all odds,
fired 1.5 million pounds of glory.
Their unimaginable scale,
reducing me to a speck of dust,
amongst asteroids.

Months and years whiz past like shooting stars,
Old memories—filed away.
I watched neighbors moving,
celebrities emerging.
The world kept spinning forward,
feeding the curious child with new ideas.
My dream was starting to fade.
Its launch—delayed.

Navigating intricate piano keys,
cramming activities and clubs,
studying for endless tests,
sinking into this achievement abyss,
doing things I’ll never reminisce,
leaving my childhood orbit,
all for a what—a college resume?

Overwhelmed with choices, clamoring voices,
telling me what to think,
how to act,
where to go.
Exhausted, flooded with anxiety.
My future, a looming uncertainty,
like a capsule, drifting in an interstellar sea.

The towering, ancient rockets
had not moved an inch since I left.
Old rusty engines,
lying in slumber, collecting dust.
The astronaut in outer space,
floating farther and farther away.
My childhood dream, reduced to a speck of dust,
amongst asteroids.

But in the empty void, a new star is born.
The dream, now evolving, changing form.
The urge for exploration,
a meaningful imprint on society,
an immortal legacy,
lighting my passion for engineering and chemistry.
Reigniting my internal engines,
propelling me beyond the abyss.

I steer my capsule through space,
navigate my own path.
And when facing hurtling asteroids,
doubters voicing their discontent,
I don’t move an inch.


bridge 2024