At the end of the day I head for the park.
Although it’s not what would pass for a park
In the land of my birth.
But this is Tokyo, and things are different.
There are some shrubs and bushes and three trees.
The flat, paved surface is broken
By eight shiny metal cylindrical seats,
That shine in the evening sunlight
Overlooking a city highway,
The parked is dressed in a caustic cloak.
Shiodome, a hive of activity with its
restaurants, shops, hotels and offices,
looms high to the right; while to the left,
silently sits the National Cancer Center.
I cannot meet the eyes of the mothers
Whose children wear woolen hats,
Pulled down past their ears
On this hot and humid evening.
I focus on the Asahi Shimbun building.
It sits opposite the hospital, and
I watch journalists rushing in and out
While I listen to the cicadas
Singing their song of death
In the three lonely trees.
Everyone that comes to this excuse for a park
Has a reason for doing so.
I come to drink a beer and reflect on
The futility of an empty life.
Others, on the run from smoke-free offices,
Light up and add to the pollution
While mothers, hearts torn apart,
Silently sobbing, laugh out loud,
With Children at play in the sunlight.