Tag Archives: death

時鳥の歌 (The Cuckoo’s Song)

泣きないで、娘。                                                  Don’t cry, my daughter.

この罰当たりな場所に‘さようなら’と言う。               You will be saying goodbye to this cursed place.

もう私の顔を見えないのに、                                  Though you can’t see my face,

もっと静かで易いところへ行こう。                           You will be going to a quieter, easier place.

もう娘の首の縫合が見えない。                              I can no longer see the stitches on your neck.

私は自分の創造に微笑む。                                   I smile at my creation.

いつか、また会うかもしれない。                            Perhaps one day, we will meet again.

でも、                                                                     But,

きっと、                                                                  Surely,

もう会えない。                                                        We will not.

忘れないで、                                                          Don’t forget,

泣きないで、                                                           Don’t cry,

次の世に、また娘のきれい顔が見える。                 In the next life, I will see your beautiful face again.

次の世に、また一緒に鯉は泳ぐことが見える。        In the next life, we will watch the koi swim again.

時鳥の歌をが聞こえる。                                          I can hear the cuckoo’s song.

娘は、今この音の意味がわからないけど、             You don’t know the meaning of its sound now,

いつか、同じ河に旅する。                                      But one day, you will travel to this same river.

その時に、時鳥の歌が聞こえるから、                    In that moment, you will hear the cuckoo’s song,

その後で、また娘の顔が見える。                           And thereafter, I will see your face again.

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Bittersweet (February 8th, 2012)

“Raindrops keep falling on my head.”

That same tune repeats in my mind

And rouses those thoughts and memories.

Mouth agape, as if in awe at the heavens.

Skin cold with a sallow tinge of green.

A fonder memory holds my thoughts instead,

When his skin was a healthy pink.

The diner every Sunday was our destination,

But no ice in his water, please,

Though the waitress often forgot,

And saturate his pancakes with the sweetest syrup.

He would smile at my excess powdered sugar –

A mountain of splendor.

“Thanks Grandpa for breakfast,” we all would say.

Often, I complained of the space he occupied in the claustrophobic car.

I revoke all of those naïve complaints,

As a bitter taste haunts my tongue again.

I will douse that bitter fire with more tender sugar.

Every morning, I awoke to the smell of cinnamon and raisin toast.

Though ever so simple, I smile at such a thought,

When times were easier.

I could hear the weights scraping against the boards from the basement when he exercised;

A fonder time.

I remember when the initial fear sank in.

Suddenly, we stopped going out for breakfast.

He no longer joined us for outings.

The thoughts of his heavy breaths

Reduced me to tears long before the call.

I knew it would soon come.

The thought that I could do nothing to help

Reduced me to tears aplenty.

The strain on my father, the strongest man alive,

The fact I could only watch the frail petal spiraling down,

Brought the bitterest taste.

And then, on a day that I truly believed

Could not be plagued by tears,

I was told of his long pauses and immobility,

And the sorrow pulled me from paradise.

There I waited. Watching. Waiting.

Death’s rattle held his lungs,

Setting its timer.

“I love you, Grandpa.

Going to Denny’s with you,

The times you would watch me play games,

The sound of the mouse clicking when you’d play solitaire,

Your singing.”

During a moment of peace with pizza and salad,

We all flocked to his side.

One pulse, and then his suffering ended.

“We’d better make some calls.”

We buried our heads into hands and shoulders.

The reality sank in.

“I’ll never go out to lunch with him again.”

“You don’t know that,” replied a consoling voice.

The tears abruptly stopped,

But promptly started again at the sight of my weeping father.

Tears pouring out his eyes were new to me.

“I hope I mean the same for you

As he did for me.”

“You mean the world to me, daddy.”

I counted my blessings;

At least I got to know my grandpa.

A bitter thought waved to me from afar;

Someday, it will be my own father.

Not now, not for a long time.

A sweet idea caressed me:

Many more years to come to cherish my father.

Grandpa no longer suffers;

This I can smile at.

We will dine again in heaven, Grandpa.

One day, we will.

Do I Have Your Permission?

Do I have permission

to throw away greeting cards from the year before?

Do I have your permission

to think of you from time to time and cry?

Do I have your permission

to never really have to say goodbye?

To pretend that I’ll receive a card from you this Christmas?

To pretend that you’ll be there, sitting on the couch as I unwrap the birthday gifts you bought me?

That you’ll come hobbling down the way with your cane,

wearing your bowler hat and the checkbook that you always keep in your breast pocket?

That you’ll say ‘Huh?’ even though you heard what I said?

That you’ll come to pick me up for school,

and buy me breakfast at McDonalds?

That, when I walk in, you’ll say, “Who’s that pretty girl?”

Do I have your permission

to pretend

that she won’t say

“I keep close to my bed in case he wants to talk to me”?

Do I have your permission

to free myself from the guilt

of the things I didn’t think to say,

and to free myself from the guilt

that I didn’t tell you how much I love you

until it was too late?

Don, of Oregon Entry #6

August 16th, 1994

 

 

                I don’t know what to do. Do I burn it? Erase this journal?

                I don’t know what I should do. How could Don not have known about this? I don’t even know if I should talk about it. I don’t want my own thoughts to be held against me, but… I know what the scent is.

                As soon as I discovered what the odor was, I nearly fainted. Should I even talk about it?

                I think I understand now why Don needs me. Maybe I better not say anything to him. I’d very much like to go home. Yeah, I’ll just keep quiet about it, just in case he decides to tear up my plane ticket. Call me a coward, but… I really think it best if I just keep my mouth shut and not say a word.

                Now I wish time would pass by faster. I can’t leave until tomorrow.