A white old lady
Led me to my seat.
She was about seventy years old or so,
Wearing a uniform with a white collar,
And silver pierced earrings
On her ears.
A blue stone ring
On her finger whose hand gives me a program.
When I received it,
Her cold roughness touched me.
Manhattan, where many aged people live alone.
Does she also
Live alone in this
Giant tourist attraction?
I watched the uniformed old lady
Until the play began.
The bus passes through Seventh Avenue.
When I got on the bus
Two old ladies were sitting
side by side.
At the second bus stop
Another old lady got on leaning on a stick.
Times Square at nearly twelve o'clock
At her back.
Even a postcard,
If you write her in large letters
And add a drawing on it,
Lets her be glad.
My mother's letter read so.
With her ten colleagues, It says,
My grandmother had played a tambourine
Like a docile kindergarten child.
In Peony Room,
Higashimatsuyama Nursery Home,
Is waiting alone for the time
To be carried to the bed from the chair.
I'd like to adorn her with accessories.
Where will that day
Let an aged me sit?
On my way home from the theater
I looked straight
*translated from the Japanese by Ruth E. Foley and Kazue Daikoku in October 2003, in Massachusetts and Kawasaki through the internet
Photograph by Yoshimi Sugioka
*Other poems by Ryo Kisaka: "How to use solitude", "The back"(Fragments #20) and "1:00 P.M."(Ryo Kisaka's Poetry)
about the author
Ryo Kisaka is a poet who lives in Tokyo. When she graduated from university, she self-published her first book. Her second poetry book was awarded the Hanatsubaki Contemporary Poetry Prize in Japan. She also won a prize for her poetry book published in 1996. She continues writing poems and publishing poetry books, and writes essays, children's stories and translates a lot of picture books into Japanese. Her recent translation work is a picture book by Margaret Wise Brown and Garth Williams (published by Froebel-Kan in May 2010).
about the photographer(Sugioka, Yoshimi)
Freelance Graphic Designer in Tokyo.Graduated from Tama Art University in 1990. Began career working in a major advertising agency until becoming a freelance graphic artist, specializing in DVD and VHS (film) sleeve design. Briefly relocated in NY, NY. Following return to Japan, special focus on studying English. Well acquainted with the founder of this site, Daikoku Kazue.
Copyright 1997 by Ryo Kisaka
English translation Copyright 2003 by Ruth E. Foley and Kazue Daikoku
Photograph Copyright by Yoshimi Sugioka