Say the Mornings Are the Hardest
Lie in bed as the night fades in; red to purple
to blue. Not the nights
but the mornings when you decide
again, after the night, to go on.
It is not discontent but sadness – a stagnant
sense of impermanence sits like a stomach ache
after your mother scolds you for eating seeds;
you can feel the leaves growing.
Discover that a word for this exists
in a calligraphy class. Guide your hand –
deep black ink piercing thin rice paper
and seeping, defeated, into harsh lines.
Let it stumble over your tongue.
Mono no aware, the beauty of impermanence.
Feel the afternoon sun seep through
windows of a Kobe University
built from the ruins
of an earthquake’s devastation.
Sit with those you call classmates in front
of a screen showing the train you catch at 9:15
plunge into the streets
as its tracks collapse.
Understand all too well
Walk streets lined with hydrangeas
fading red to purple to blue
after rounds of sake with those
you now call friends. Know
your position in life is unquestioned. Play as though
you are all children in an emptied playground;
smile unconditionally. Humans will
always rise to be human again.
The color of hydrangeas is determined
by the pH balance of the soil.
They will change color when replanted
in different soil.
Come to see hydrangeas
as moving on.
“SAY THE MORNINGS ARE THE HARDEST” is a poem I wrote in 2017. It was published in ROYAL ROSE MAGAZINE, which you can read online.