Even The Cherry Blossom Trees Are Laughing

Make me cry. No one says that.
But if I ask you to make me cry,
I mean in the same way that my
mother cried in Japan once when
she saw an old and weak cherry
blossom tree being held up by a
manmade splint. I take cherry
blossom season personally and
I don’t know why. I was so elated
to find out reading in the Mainichi
paper that the first cherry blossoms
to fully bloom in Tokyo blossomed
on my birthday. As if the cherry
blossoms cared how many times
I’ve rotated around the sun. In
Tokyo, I was far more enraptured
by the fish markets. I almost fell
into a bucket full of eel heads,
which made me laugh almost
grotesquely. Some days you laugh
over the beheaded. Other days
you cry at the human kindness
extended towards cherry blossom
trees. How low those people must
have bowed in order to plant that crutch.
Two days later we take a train to meet
our dead ancestors in Niigata. We bow
until we cry ourselves into laughter.
Roots you can feel even in America.
How strong they must have been
to make even the children continents
and generations away blossom.

 

by Aya Elizabeth

 

Aya Elizabeth is an artist, bookseller, and poet living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Konch Magazine, Typishly, The Write Launch, Up The Staircase Quarterly, Habitat Magazine, Delmarva Review, The Same, Twyckenham Notes, Third Point Press, Bluestem, and Horseshoes & Handgrenades.

Appears In