By | 1 February 2014

Leave me
I am late in my life
and have seen many summers
my mind now is only wreckage and waste
once houses stood and people teemed
a busy anthill watched over by the quiet dead
rice paddies glowed emerald in the distance
and the sea rolling
gently onto our shore
brought us fish and abalone
seaweed in abundance

now all is mud and stinking
death falls from the sky like rain
that once brought us clouds and flowers
fruits of the cherry tree and almond
rain that gave us washing water bath water
the wooden tub I bathed you in
our garden lost to me as you are
the ancient gods are angry
our ancestors have deserted us
stay away
and let me love you
with my last breath


Our futons
make a giant quilt
a pattern of fields growing green
and lying fallow collage of what little is not lost
these two metre squares we will share forever
nothing has happened before this
not the birth of my daughter
nor the death of my father
not the joy of early morning
crisp purity of air and bird song
persimmons in a bowl

we kneel to try and feed our child what
has been given us by foreigners after
standing for hours on ice
even the temperature has turned against us
I try to keep my feet
within our space
there is nowhere to go nothing to do
I teach my daughter
how to fold a paper boat
notice my grandmother’s
fine stitches
have come loose

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