52 Poems: Week 46 Lawson Fusau Inada

Little moments with family over the past few days, and this poem by a former Oregon Poet Laureate.  Happy Thanksgiving.

By Lawson Fusau Inada
(for Grandmothers Miju Inada and Yoshiko Saito)

Except for the fact that Grandmother taught me
chopsticks and Japanese before forks and English,
my relationship with Her wasn't all that much.

As a matter of fact, Grandmother, with Her old-
fashioned ways, was actually somewhat of an extra-
vagant source of confusion and distraction.

For example, just to waste time on a rainy day
in a boring barrack room in our ordinary
concentration camp in Arkansas, She'd say:

"The Great God Thunder is very powerful.
Listen to Him. When He storms, be careful.
Or He will send Lightning to take your navel!"

Or, on just another quiet night in Colorado,
on the way to the shower house, She may pause
in the warm desert sand to simply say:

"Ah, the Full Moon! Look closely, Grandson.
It's the same Moon, and the same Story.
'Two Rabbits with Mallets Pounding Rice.'"

Time passes. Grandmother passes. I've learned
the facts since. Still, in some storms I feel
a twitch, and in the still of certain nights,

with the right chopsticks, I can eat with
the Rabbits who have scattered all the Rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment