Memories of the Moon and Bon Dance Ed
Bon Dance Ed and I make the circuit every season,
He rides shotgun for my navigation to temples tucked away
In valleys, under and along freeways, and forgotten places,
Sometimes we get lost going home
And laugh about becoming urban legends, never to be seen again.
The red dirt road takes us to the temple I love best
Set back behind old plantation houses, near the now dead sugar mill,
Here, in the cooling night, wisps of clouds cross the full moon,
Lanterns sway, and flute notes drift in the wind
While the singer’s woeful tune of plantation life fades in and out.
I feel the memories of the harvest moon rising,
Its soft light on the woman late to finish the strip of dead leaves
From stalks before the harvest.
Across the field, her husband bends in silhouette
Turning the red soil to ease the birth of sugar cane.
Tonight, the moon waits for those who have come and gone,
We come to honor them with new and familiar dances,
Striking in his black and white yukata coat
His movements are precise and clean, even when he missteps.
In the next season, I ride the circuit to return
To honor Bon Dance Ed
And wait for the moon’s gaze to comfort me.