A good son,
You come
To visit
Your mother's
Grave
In the month
Of August,
Of HaTzuki,
The Month
Of Leaves-
Weeds hide it
From the
Dusty road,
A forgotten
Place;
All but lost-
Like the
Part of your
Life
You shared
With her…

Shunned
In public,
You never
Learned
The rituals-
And mother
Didn't know
Where father
Lay buried-
Though
She made
A place
For him
On the family
Altar in the
Room
Overlooking
Her garden
When you
Were small.

Instead of
Prayers,
You clear away
The weeds,
The grass,
Bringing
River-water
In your hands,
Pouring it
Over her
Simple stone;
Scouring
It with reeds
Until the
Weathered
Inscription
Is clear
Of moss.

Kneeling,
You place
Rice balls-
Onigiri
, with
Pickled plums,
Beside it
With incense
"borrowed"
From Kaede
Before clapping
Grass-stained
Hands
To get the
God's attention-
Though had
They been
Paying attention,
You would never
Have happened.

Wordless
You remain
Kneeling,
The wind
Blowing
The tall grass
Around you
In a hissing roar…
Finally you
Apologize
For your neglect-
(Fifty years
Is too long...)

Silence broken-
You try
To tell her
About your life-
Without
Hurting her-
You've
Nothing
To say.

Instead,
you tell her
Everything--
(Damn the

Consequences!)

Leaning
Against her
Stone,
As if against
Her knee,
Telling the
Trees,
The grass,
The sky,
About Kikyo-
About the Jewel-
Everything…
Until there's
Nothing
Left to tell

The sun
Now touches
The horizon-
You rise,
Watching
Ducks leave
The river
In a rush of
Wings
Before quietly
Adding
That you have
Friends now…
(Would
You mind
Terribly
If I
Brought them
To meet you
Someday?)