Thirty Years Apart / Mount Osore

A poem for grieving ones

This poem is dedicated to anyone who has experienced grief lately, or not lately.

Note for context: Mt Osore is a remote volcano in Japan that in folk tradition is known as being an entrance to the underworld.

Another note: the line breaks in poems are broken on phones. It’s best read in wide orientation on your phone, or on your laptop, as there are otherwise a lot of words hanging off the end looking more dramatic than they are supposed to be 😷

Thirty Years Apart/Mt Osore

My dad texts messages about a few photos I sent, from Nebraska
While my mom sits in front of me here in Oregon.
The bright birthday candles Anna bought today
reflect on her glasses
as I take a video of us singing the song.

For mom I cooked
moroccan lamb stew with currants.
Z'hug, babaganaouj, chapati,
and apple crisp with ice cream.

We lay on the floor listening to
Nordic songs from the Faroe islands.
Rocky places
surrounded by sea.

The pain of it
never really goes away.

It keeps coming up in brand new ways.

It's the first time I wrote about how it feels.

It feels numb and sad at the same time.

I wrote on a checklist "send mom and dad photos",
which made me cry on accident
because they will always go to two different places.

I guess it feels like it's lasted somewhat longer
than one whole life.

The monk from Mt. Osore said the whole point of his religion
was to learn to live with wounds.
It didn't make sense when I heard it, but I thought about it.
And I wrote about it.
And now it does.

Today was my Mom's 62nd birthday.
While I am thirty two years old.