After the tsunami on 3/11/2011

A yellow little shoe drifted away. I
clasped my hands around the tree
trunk & smelled of the endless

.....water desert.

I squatted down in a futon-closet & waited
for my mother in the summer, 1993.
My aunt opened the closet with wheat bread

.....& eight boiled eggs.

I waved my hands to the silver
whistles of a helicopter in the morning
sky. It dropped a rope like a spider

.....thread three miles away from my tree.

Dear Mother,
Did you escape the land of sudden


The first draft on March 20, 2011.

I clasped my hands around the trunk;
smells of dark

sea water and dirt; no lights, no
neighbors. My husband’s cold
hand rubbed my cheeks.

When the tsunami
covered the village, the neighbors
drove up the hill; a long
snaking trail of taillights to the safe place.

Let’s leave our car…
and then the tsunami dragged
and trundled the tumble

weeds in an endless water desert. I closed
my eyes. The seat-belt bit my lungs.

.....Sudden stop; a branch
caught our car. We climbed up the tree.
Several cluttered waves washed away the car.

In the morning, we saw a police
car on the intact bridge. Our voice
disappeared into the shining

black sea water. I saw
a girl’s shoe drifting away from us.

I want to live.
My husband started
waving his scarf into the gray sky.
.....A helicopter appeared. It dropped

a rope like a spider thread.