Skip to main content

A POEM FOR THE TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN NO.8

I am writing poems adapting Japanese tsunami news/stories into the first narrative. What I can do as Japanese, I want to tell their stories to English speaking countries. The poem is fictional based on a real event.

***
MOTHER’S LIPS


When I was twelve, my grandfather took
me to a flower market. There were no
flowers, but dead bodies caked in mud
on blue vinyl sheets. I cleaned
my mother’s face with my handkerchief.

Every night, my mother boiled water
with a red kettle. A towel soaked
in the scalding basin. She wiped my neck,
cheeks, and behind my ears. She told me,
I am sorry you never knew your father.

After my bath, I sat in front of the mirror.
I touched my mouth, which is unlike
my mother’s. I grabbed her red lipstick. She
spanked my hand when she found the stained

pillow cases on the futon mattress.

My grandfather stroked my mother’s shoulders.
It was very cold and scary. Sleep peacefully...
He recited a Buddhist prayer. I found
the lipstick
in her pocket. With my finger, I drew it on her lips.

Popular posts from this blog

Amazon Best Sellers : Best Asian American Poetry #11

Thank you very much for purchasing my poetry chapbook, "Home, No Home". I am really REALLY thankful for your support.

Graphic Poetry - "White Avenue"

Graphic Poetry - "White Avenue"
Previous project - "On a Black Hill" This collection will be available from Tupelo Press.