The Lonely Skater

I dream of Daddy’s quiet murmur

of the soft burble of Mommy’s laugh

until I wake early for departure and get

cozy in the car as I drift off, again

to sleep…

Images drift in and out of my mind and I see

Daddy at the steering wheel

his fingers tapping gently to

reggae beats on the radio

Mommy offers him more bites of a riceball

and it’s cozy warm in the backseat

sharing leg space with a sleeping Kazami

Asa in front, sleeping face close enough to

reach out and touch – touch –

…Eyes open to bright sunlight

snow-capped Mt Fuji outside my car window

we head into an amusement park, passing a gigantic Ferris wheel

and haunted house

stopping to gape up at the screaming faces of

riders turned upside down and

head to the outdoor ice rink

…and after I slide around and around

breathing in fresh country air, cheeks pink from cold

I stop to rest, sit down to breathe

watch little boys in puffy outfits

fall, get up and fall again

little girls grab tight to their father’s hand

listen to the laughter, see the smiles

and suddenly –

I see Kazami’s puff of curly hair

zipping off into the distance

I don’t think – just jump up to follow that head

but he’s gone – disappeared into the clouds of Mt Fuji

I sit and stare out

and wish with all my heart that Daddy were here

that I could look up now and see them laughing

urging me to skate with them –

and Asa would be around the corner, quiet and solemn

saying he was going to go indoors for a bit, to warm up

and Kazami – he would be that zip, that puff of hair

overjoyed to skate and full of energy…

and I wished then, while tears welled up

and pinched at my throat –

that I could bury myself

in their warmth and just let go…

let the tears of stress, joy, pain, fear

escape –

and hear them tell me

it was going to be okay

I need not worry –

I look up again, search for that bob of curly hair

but he’s gone – he never was

So I lift myself up again

as the tickle at my throat disappears

and regain my smile, my laugh

my toughness, strength and power

and slide off as I watch

Mt Fuji drape herself with a blanket of clouds

to disappear for a while…


  1. Michelle Dalton says:

    Zoe, as I read , I cried with you as a friend and cry for you as a mother. You are so strong. So beautiful. Never doubt yourself. Sending you even more strength, and positive thoughts.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Zoe, Zoe! I cry reading these words! I hear you! and send you love! and life! and experiences!

  3. barbara says:

    oh, sweet zoe, now you are writing beautiful poetry that is making me cry. you have the gift, my friend, you have the gift. it can’t be taught. it simply is, or it isn’t. and it is yours. wow.
    i was just thinking of you this morn, as i heard a story on NPR about, ooh gosh, early morning braincells only half work, so i can only remember that it was a story about japan and what the heck was the specific topic. hmmm. anyway, it made me think of you… was a funny story.

    i am sorry you miss your family so so much. but i am so moved by your courage to have traveled across the globe in the first place, and to stay there for months and months. you will be home and back to the blue sky you love…….till then sending an extra tight hug today.
    your friend,

  4. Gabbifer says:

    This is really beautiful, Zobo.

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