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A POEM FOR THE TOHOKU EARTHQUAKE IN JAPAN NO.19

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.

***
LETTER

I found your body. You were under a wet
wool blanket and broken concrete. Your
thin skin was frosted. My daughter kept
you warm with her chapped hands. My
son found a letter in a blue tin box with
electricity bills. You wrote it when we
argued until three o’clock in the morning.
Ganbarou today. We’ll have a better night.
You put it in my lunch-box in 2008. My daughter cries,
I don’t want a spiritual message. I want my mother.
I took off your wedding ring and gave it to her.
My son stroked her head. I heard your voice
in the cold white wind like a reverie.


***NOTE***
Ganbarou means to do one’s best work.

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3 pm RHINO editors write poems-on-demand! Order a poem-to-go on any topic of your choice. RHINO editor-poets will compose a poen for you on the spot in ild school typewriters for a small donation to the magazine.

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Pre-Order "Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" Today!

"Mother Said, I Want Your Pain" (The winner of the Shared Dream Immigrant Contest, selected by Janine Joseph) will be available from Backbone Press (Spring 2018).

Of the collection, Janine Joseph writes:“I do not know/ if I am even right to be a mother at a right time,” discloses the speaker in the opening poem of Mother Said, “I Want Your Pain.” Evocative and startling in their unflinching clarity of image, these poems are inheritors of the aftermath of nuclear fallout and chemical warfare. They are tuned to the movement of transgenerational traumas. Grandmothers who “hid in a ditch with three horses” while B-29s shot bullets overhead, leave relatives who later ask of our bequeathed earth, “Is the land poisoned or not poisoned?” Here is a striking collection with a deft voice, poised even as it turns on or transcends an observation or emotion: “Grandfather watches TV on the highest volume,/ the howling-wind.”

Pre-Order Your Copy Today from Backbone Press!