A Sneeze on Mother’s Day


I say, “Bless you”

or “God bless you” to my students,

private school

Japanese young ladies

and they say/she said, “Thank you.”

I am surprised. Known.


I suggest they write, speak,


“I love you, Mama/Mom/Okaasan

on Mother’s Day.

And this is met

with scoffs.



There are no “I love you’s”

between mother & child.

Not at this age (They are 12 & 15).

Blessings over sneezes have moved in,

but not radical proclamations of I Love You,

Oh Mother who bore me.

Mother who cooks me the most splendid of bentos

& dresses me in resplendent expensive private school blues.


I like you

I need you

I love you


Worry, perhaps, instead


& I got news for you,

not many moms say it to their kids.

It may just be for TV & silly movies.


Maybe some Western expressions

don’t stick

can’t stick


Sometimes eggs do stick to iron pans


snow doesn’t stick, that is,

stay on the ground.

Sometimes things need to thaw;

the ground just needs to soften, is all.


You just bless,

suggest, model

& know

different is also




But as for me & my household,

We yell, “I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

& roudy up the neighborhood.


A kiss can even land

when blown

through a windstorm

through sunshine

clapped shut, caught in my little girl’s mouth

before flapped back.


Love is the ruling word around here

(or will be).

Spring is the time, you know,

for “aaah-chooooos” & the grand grace

of being treasured,

however sniffly.





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