While Weeding Cilantro with a Japanese Hand Hoe on Daddy’s Farm

I asked Mommy how she knew Daddy was the one once –
and observed the steam from her black-rimmed mug
drift aimlessly from hands and up through greying strands
of hair until it disappeared. I watched her eyes cloud
with memory, then counted creases in her white skin
until she said, “His eyes are beautiful.” Daddy’s eyes
are blue – the color of sky in spring when glimpses of green
emerge, that pierce with passion too intense to name. Sometimes
it is the color of crashing waves past midnight, a deep blue
that trembles with wisdom. I wonder what blue my mother
saw. “His eyes were different, Sora. I saw truth.” Yes – there is
truth in every limb of Daddy’s body. His ears hear everything –
from the old creak of a dying tree, to the pop of a green bean bud
snaking blindly from ground to light. His mouth does not
form shouts, only laughs in a way that transmits tranquility, and
the creases of his sandpaper skin conceal bits of hardened
dirt. I see truth in the curve of his back, in muscles that tighten
and release as he pushes mulch up against baby green tomato
transplants, a human machine that only stops when purple spreads
like watercolor against greying clouds and fades into darkness.
And when they twinkle as Mommy erupts into laughter in front
of the television, massaging his work away – I know why
she followed those eyes across an ocean that separated her
from family and familiarity. Mommy captured blue eyes that
brimmed with truth and still holds tight – and so when I asked,
“How will I know?” she smiled and said, “You’ll find them, too.”

Daddy and Rhubarb


  1. bam says:

    This is BREaThTaking!!!! Oh my god, Zoe! As I read it I was thinking deep down low, “this is a writer whose work will be bound for the ages. And aren’t we blessed to be reading her in her ‘early works.’ The poems which some day will be called “before the masses flocked to her…” It is a gorgeous love poem all around — mother to father, daughter to mother, daughter to father and mother to daughter…. You are gorgeous, my friend…

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. chasingyume says:

      Thank you so much, Barbara! You are a beautiful, wonderful and incredible person and writer and I am so thankful for your encouragement 🙂

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