Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cherry Blossoms


The air smelled
of cherry blossoms
but it was too soon,
too early for the soft
pink and white
to decorate the trees,
to wash petals on the street,
too soon.

Our pace was fast;
we did not run but
made quick steps,
quick steps, laughing
like the teacher’s song,
but we hurried,
you small hand
enfolded in mine.

The roar behind us
too sudden, too fast,
the noise a train
screaming in darkness,
darkness consuming
demanding crushing
suffocating burying
darkness.

I sit in the small chair
on the small porch,
waiting as always
for you to walk home
from school, remembering
your small hand
torn from mine
too fast, too soon.


This poem is taken from the story of one Japanese mother, who was running with her daughter to escape the tsunami when the force of the water tore her child from her grasp. The mother survived; her hope is that her child did as well and is being sheltered.

If you would like to help relief efforts in Japan, the Woodinville Patch (hat tip to Belief Net) has a list of several organizations working to help the Japanese people.

This poem is submitted for One Shot Wednesday hosted by One Stop Poetry. To see more poems, please visit the site. The links will be live at 4 p.n. Central time.

Photograph: Japanese Flowering Cherry by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

28 comments:

Duane Scott said...

Glynn,

The meaning behind this poem is beautiful.

-DS

Maureen said...

This is one of the most moving and best of your poems, Glynn. Even if the background were not known - and it's a background that adds great poignancy - this poem touches, especially the final stanza. You've created strong visual images. The small hand that is always in the picture leaves me with a tug in my heart. The sitting and waiting in the chair - it reminds me of that true story of a dog that waited at the train station for his master to return. Gut-wrenching.

Linda said...

This is so touching Glynn. It puts the enormity of the tragedy into perspective. One life at a time.

Brian Miller said...

a quick dagger to the heart...the waiting on the porch especially...thank you though for bringing a bit of beauty to tragedy....

repressedsoul said...

Glynn, you made me cry. You relayed the mothers voice so beautifully and poignantly. Having your child seperated from you for even so much as a minute is hard to bare, but having one swept away, well, heartbreaking.

LauraX said...

oh Glynn, my heart is breaking again visualizing that tiny hand being sucked out of mothers. Your poem beautifully honors both mother and child, every mother who has lost her child to tragedy.

dustus said...

Glynn, your writing evokes the five senses and stirs many emotions. This is a heart-rending poem.

poemblaze said...

Powerful, moving poem. Vivid and painful.

S. Etole said...

no words for what this does to my heart ...

hedgewitch said...

Well done, Glynn. We all sit and watch, wondering, about so many things still up in limbo here.

Joseph Hesch said...

Touching, both the heart and the senses, this poem delivers the thought, the feeling, and the emotion of the crushing sadness of this past weekend and will for many tomorrows. Thank you.

lori said...

this brought tears to my eyes. thanks for sharing such a powerful piece.

Mama Zen said...

Heartbreaking and beautifully done.

Ann Grenier said...

Heartbreaking. You have perfectly captured what it feels like to have a child swept away from you.

signed...bkm said...

So sad and to watch these films and the sorrows of these people I am sure there are so many stories like this one...bkm

violet said...

Oh my. Gripping and sad. The repetition is so effective, giving the feeling of the mother going over and over the events in her mind, wishing she could replay them to a different ending.non

Louise Gallagher said...

You made me cry.

Ami Mattison said...

Oh, wow! What an intensely sad poem, Glynn. Yet you never lapse into the morose. Rather, the poem is devastatingly hopeful like the mother, waiting for her child to return. Fine, fine writing here!

Shashi said...

Hi Glynn

This is really an emotional verse.. I enjoyed it so much..
Thanks for sharing..


ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/03/whispers-love-and-insignificance.html
Connect me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay

gautami tripathy said...

Powerful, I felt so emotional reading it...

an ordinary moment

Belinda Munoz said...

A beautiful telling of a parent's worst nightmare coming true.

versebender said...

Heart wrenching...brilliantly done. vb

sonny said...

nothing tears up the heart more than mother being separated from a child..yet ...you have the knack of focusing on hope and staying away from melancholy...very very nicely penned...

Sandra Heska King said...

Wrecked.

Mark Kerstetter said...

I like how the repeated phrases evoke a sense of dazed grief or even shock. I see the vacant stare of the speaker: "Too soon, too soon..." Powerful.

Emily Murphy said...

What depth of a picture of something we so easily turn our eyes away from, or flip the channel. This will not be able to leave my mind, my heart. Thank you.

Steve Isaak said...

Solid work, good storytelling.

jasonS said...

Heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. Thanks Glynn.