Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Dad" by Shuntaro Tanikawa


the men in my life
Originally uploaded by yasmin the storyteller.
Dad's eating,
staring
straight ahead,
looking at
no one.
My younger brother tells him
his glasses are all
steamed up
from the rice.
He says
yes
and wipes them
on his sleeve.
I'm not sure
what's on his mind
but I'm pretty sure
it's not me,
or my brother
or mother, either.
If I ask him
what he's thinking
he'll just say,
"Nothing special."
Once I saw
a photo
of Dad as a boy.
He was standing
in the middle of a
big field
squinting hard
from the sun.
He still has that expression
sometimes.
He holds on to a bite of yam
with his
chopsticks.
A gold tooth shows
when he opens his mouth.
Dad,
I hope you live a long time.