A Hug

Written for:  Carpe Diem #720, “if taken in my hand”

At the beginning of September I came back to my birthplace. Nothing of my mother remained. The grass in front of mother’s room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say, “We are fortunate to be still alive.” Nothing more. My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, “Look at mother’s white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the jewel box of Urashima Taro. Your eyebrows have become white.” We wept for a while and then I composed this verse:

“if taken in my hand
it would vanish in hot tears
autumn frost”

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

When I hug her
Her shoulders remain stiff
Eyes bewildered pools

© Sara McNulty


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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4 Responses to A Hug

  1. Jen says:

    Oh Sara — I don’t have the words here. So direct, so painful.


  2. Blake says:

    The last line is so desperately sad, but so beautifully phrased at the same time – to sum up so much emotion in only three words seems to me exactly the effect haiku ought to have.


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