From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 45/46, LAST DAYS HERE, by Eric Chock

From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 45/46: Last Days Here, by Eric Chock:

Here's Eric Chock's “Confession”:

I thought we were poor, our family.
There were so many things I couldn't have,
like the lacquered bamboo fishing pole twelve feet long
that could hold the bait out far enough
to where the big ones lived,
deeper than I could see;
or the bicycle I rode down the hill
in my dreams, before I ever knew how;
or the pure white racing pigeon
who almost flew away, but who stayed
and hatched me half a flock
that we could carry by car
to the other side of the island,
and still they'd beat us home.

All these things somehow gave me courage
to sit on the edge of my mother's new bed
and calmly tell her why we didn't need
and more babies in our family.
I was sincere. Almost pleading.
But just acted like she had been waiting
all her life to answer me.
She just looked at me, almost sadly,
and said that when people have babies
it just shows how much they love each other.

I wanted to die.
How could I have known that, in time,
all those things I wanted would come to me?
At that age, how could I know the meaning of babies?
All it made me realize was the meaning
of her breasts when, accidentally
I saw her that time,
silhouetted against the afternoon light
that glowed in the Venetian blinds
and into my eyes, her hair falling
across her bare shoulders
as she toweled it dry before
my father came home.

Mahalo for reading!

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