Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015



Susan Hawthorne

  it’s all about unknowing the gaps in our histories
  the story about my grandmother travelling
  to Japan after the war the black and white 
  photographs of her sipping tea in a Japanese
  teahouse is that why she is there to sip tea
  her elbow pointed at the eaves her hand delicate
  behind is the garden as ordered swept and leaf-
  cleaned as every other Japanese garden
  even the one in the woodblock print by Saito
  here the forest invites us in the gate opening
  to the world and closing again in solitude
  there are no clouds the image is grey 
  grey and white no black cranes silhouetted 
  against the sky no shadow anywhere no figure
  walking by I sift everything for another story
  the one about my uncle her son prisoner
  of war the visit could it be reparations
  for relatives a loop travelled there and back
  her kind of solitude her kind of unknowing