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August 18, 2020

Japan Vacation

flew in from SFO to narita international
businessmen with briefcases and laptops clicking
then a train ride to someplace I can’t pronounce
my wife’s parents house we’re staying
wanted a hotel room but they insisted
corn tempura, green tea, sea urchin
little table and pillows on the floor
japanese lunch on a sweltering day
in the middle of a sweltering summer
doors open to the garden inviting a breeze that never arrives
it must have missed its stop
taking the train or the bus into town
sake, sapporo beer arigato arigato
beautiful garden, pretty somethings hanging from the trees
long afternoon nap on the tatami
I don’t speak japanese so I sit the chinfest out
but my wife is and does and catches up with her family so polite
I hope I’m not being rude, she explains I’m tired from the flight
copious amounts of scotch on the way over isn’t helping
waking to a yellowish sunset
shining over the cemetery stone markers I can see from the back porch
some still damp with water poured over them
sotoba sticks after passing the night dressed in black
incense bells candles chants
laying on my roll listening to the occasional traffic
buses, trucks, trains thumping rhythmically on their journeys
faintly hearing the sound of the ocean washing up on shore
wife asleep, I shouldn’t have slept so much during the day
my body clock is right twice a day but woefully wrong now
so far from home now, so delightfully far from home