The Blur Behinddddd


I love you on the train,

your eyes roving, flicking with equal interest

flirt and tired.

Eyes that speak: touch me, feed me.

Eyes alight.

Bags rumple


as she readies to get out.

A “people person”, not yet shy,


catch their eyes

in your big smile, cheeks widening,


Eyelashes that flutter.

You know how to get people to see your very soul.

Smile, as I touch your hand.

You, sweet, are the sounding train, bright light trekking

wordlessly, even, into all you will do.

I jotted this down on the Yamanote line 山手線 recently, with my boy.

The Yamanote is a huge train loop, 34.5 km, connecting most of Tokyo’s major centers & stops. We are train people, here in this metropolis. Our stroller is the car, on and off trains, up and down hills with shopping bags pinched on to handle bars. Besides swiping our train passes, we sure do walk a lot.  

Incidentally, I was riding this very line when my water broke the first time around with my daughter. A very excited & incredulous me walked off at my stop(at 36 weeks), to go pack my bags at the house, eat a quick something while waiting for my hub, & climb into the cab that would take us to our birth house (also along the Yamanote line). 


i. I wait for the woman to realize I’m pregnant–tight and round, belly twitching like an egg imminently breaking, like in Are You My Mother.

Wait for her to realize she took my seat–the one reserved for pregnant chics like me expecting a quick sit.

Instead, I mutter.

I wait for the house to be in order, for it to look ready for upheaval, change.

For my toddler-daughter to feel ready for a potty. Instead, encroaching anxiety. When will this baby be born?

When and how will I get baby clothes when I continue to miss every US sale and support. Freaking overseas and in need.

Waiting to meet this Israeli doctor who will perform our son’s bris in a culture that sees our ritual as outlandish, unnecessary, and above all, painful.

Waiting for my mind to join me in exhale.

Waiting to get the chance to sit under the puffy blooms of a tree, which are by essence, evasive and fleeting. Waiting for time to open-up.

For goodness and mercy to calm my anxiety and reach me.

I’m still standing, lady.


hakone 6

ii. While waiting, now slippers on,

soothing rendition of spirituals, Beatles’ Hey Jude,

Matisse coral shapes and humpback whales

block prints of Fuji, baby catalogues, coupons, and onezie giveaways.

Jack Johnson cuts through and I’m back to where I gave birth


and learned to nurse my little girl.

“Times like these, times like those.

What will be will be and so it goes.”

The waiting

and enjoying breath,


waiting giving way to a baby boy.

The Waiting Game is surely part of our human experience. Drive-thru lines, waiting on a pee-stick result, waiting til the little guy is born, trying to distract yourself as you wait on a prognosis, waiting for the turkey’s little thing to pop-out & scream, “Done!”

When has waiting been most painful, exhilarating, or transformative?