Remembering to Return

We remember the beginning and its beginning—

The dance, birth, struggle, joy—

Remembering how the grass sparkled in morning dew,

Chipmunks pestering the birdfeed in the breeze

That remembers yesterday’s howling wind

That shook limbs and leaves of birches down

Strewn across the fields.

We remember what our mothers and fathers told us about our birth

And their times, their parents, and grandparents

How they moved across the channels and mountains

Planting seedlings in rice paddies, wading barefooted,

And I remember the ancient voice chanting

At the rhythm of thrashing golden husks.

Everything remembers—

Hands remember to dance, voices sing

Our feet remember to grip the soil

And remember to return to the guest house

With the temporary lease.  We are welcome,

And greet the guests knocking on the door

To return the debt with kindness.


Year of the Rabbit