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The Other World

written by: Genie Nakano



I was playing jump rope
when it turned into a dream. . .

Mother was in a back bend
leaning down towards me
a tiny reindeer carrying a moon on his back
was on the side of her forehead
and she was wearing her favorite velvet dress

The ground trembled into a treasure ship
and away we sailed
the ocean was surrounded by a mist
making the voyage invisible

But I saw you, mother
clear as day
you looked fine, healthy and surreal
the other world must be good for you

I asked you about the other world
but you didn’t want to talk about it
you just wanted to talk about me
and all the things I was doing

Mother said she was so busy in the other world
she rarely had time to check up on me
but all that jumping on the ground
kind of caught her attention

Well, mom
as you can see
I’m having fun down here
jumping, dancing around and staying healthy
I think about you a lot and dad too

Funny you didn’t come to me
when I needed you
or at least I thought I needed you
when I broke my hip and couldn’t jump anymore

Is it my joy that brings you near me?
well, I’m going to figure out more ways to be joyful
then I’ll see you around more.

Genie Nakano

Genie Nakano

I was born in Boyle Heights, CA. known as the barrios of East L.A. I am a journalist for The Rafu Shimpo and have written three books of Haiku and Tanka. My latest is "Colorful Lives" a tanka and adult coloring book. Tanka, the elder elegant sister of haiku, is my favorite form of writing it keeps me succinct and musical at the same time. After all..tanka means "short Song".
I was a professional dancer and photographer for many years. Currently I teach Yoga and tanka at the Japanese Cultural Institute In Gardena, CA.
Genie Nakano

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