Poems of Exile (10)

Eternally Temporal

Take your time. But hurry up.—A clown at Joaquin Liam Padre’s first year party, Okinawa Cultural Center, Waipahu, HI, March 3, 2012

Three children in tow, the morning becomes
A noontime show at Okinawa, in the middle

Of all memories we can remember
Of plantation men and women who have

Come before us, without these abundance,
Laughter, and gratitude we have in the heart.

He stands there, the lonely, laughing magician
Of words and movements, his farmer’s hands adept

At what the eyes cannot see, fingers hidden
Right before us, not knowing where they move

To blank out filled spaces, all clues, our wandering mind.
We watch, and he tells us, more an admonition

Than a fatherly advice: Take your time.
Take your time. But you hurry up.

In the far right from the gallery are lines
And lines of food untouched, the cake,

In huge slices, creamy and speaking of delight,
Savory as those sweet dreams and chocolate

Smile children reward you with giving your time
Rather than thinking about what next poem

To write hoping it would catch what gift you have
In enchanting a phrase or two so these

Finally tell of what it is to live in the interstices
Of time coming to pass, passing by where we are,

Seated to consume more and more this ruse
The sleight of white-gloved hands produce

So children grow up to become adults
So adults grow up to become children
In this mix bag of family rituals we catch.

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