Mom Gets It

Leaves in Hawaii are trapped in green–

orange, red, brown or bare–

belong to lands where the sun rises

to a different sky.

Mom and Dad are like those leaves,

unblemished by the passing seasons–

on the surface, a harmony of all things,

below, the smeared shadows of fairy tales.

The day comes when truth separated

itself from the depths of a whole,

a latent horror brought to the surface

from the confines of dad’s bone marrow.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Leukemia, the demon that plague

myeloid cells, producing immature

white blood cells and not enough

red blood cells and platelets.

It took two weeks for the shock and

anger to dial down to simmer before

dad delivered the news to

mom, with whom we communicated

in broken Japanese and a smattering

of Pidgin. If she had suspicions,

she kept them to herself.

The sky didn’t tilt, the ground didn’t

wobble, the secret surprisingly received

without emotional entanglements–

Ruu-kee-me-ah? Ah-row-ha?



Talk story

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