And when, in the city in which I love you,
even my most excellent song goes unanswered,
andI mount the scabbed streets,
the long shouts of avenues,
She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the joy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
To pull the metal splinter from my palm
my father recited a story in a low voice.
I watched his lovely face and not the blade.
Before the story ended, he'd removed
While the long grain is softening
in the water, gurgling
over a low stove flame, before
the salted Winter Vegetable is sliced
Sad is the man who is asked for a story
and can't come up with one.
His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
In the steamer is the trout
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.
We shall eat it with rice for lunch,
I've pulled the last of the year's young onions.
The garden is bare now. The ground is cold,
brown and old. What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
Lie still now
while I prepare for my future,
certain hard days ahead,
when I'll need what I know so clearly this moment.