Spring Poem For the Sake of Breathing, Written After a Walk to Foster Island- James Masao Mitsui

Today, I’m sharing a piece written by one of my former poetry professors. I have a volume of his poetry in my collection and coming across this piece made me decide to spend more time with his works. 

Hope you all enjoy! 



The sky wants the water to turn grey,

but if I notice how waves

 

play with the clumps of yellow flags,

or the way turtles share logs,

 

or even try to understand a friend’s decision

to walk onto a glacier

 

and end her life—I will be ready

for any poems that have been waiting.

 

The horizon opens as I walk,

escorted by swans and Canada geese.

 

I need to stop backpedaling into the present.

In my old life people would straighten

 

the truth, but the river

flows in curves.

 

The names of my father and my mother

rest next to each other in Greenwood Cemetery.

 

The distance between me and the mountains

measures an uneven thought: I feel like an orphan.

 

An early moon is just a piece of change

in the softening sky.

 

Light is such an actress. Time to seek

Hopper’s wish to simply paint sunlight

 

on the wooden wall of a house. I am growing

older. Maru in Japanese means

 

the ship

will make it back home.

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