Earlier than planned they sought places your spirit might be.
No one could decide, so ashes were divided into thirds.
Each portion looked for you from a different place:
from skyline, from water, from earth.
I found you in Japan, one early morning in the park
where the sleepless gaijin and homeless cats wander
under lilac boughs, lost and hungry. Far from home,
you were waving arms by the fountain, squinting in the sun.
For days we followed memories of this place.
we shared quiet evenings at the Black and White Café
over frizzled rice and tofu. You watched me fumble chopsticks,
eat each grain of rice, drink too much green tea.
One night, back at the hotel, we lingered in the lobby
by the flower arrangement of bleached wood,
branches of bone gather white flowers,
like origami cranes, perched and waiting to fly.
You put me to sleep that third night, and in my dream
you were gathering iris along the moat at Nagoya Castle.
Clouds crossed the sun, you looked up as if remembering
a flight you were scheduled to take.
For three days you forgot you were gone,
for three days I remembered.
© Jan M. Veile
In honor of the first anniversary of my sister’s passing, I submit her words. The theme was a perfect match for this poem that has been on my mind for the past few days, remembering. Jan’s complete work of poetry is available on Amazon. The photo prompt is by Sandra Crook, courtesy of Madison Woods. Their stories can be found here, along with links to all the other Flash Friday Fictioneers.
© Erin Leary