A Disappointment



A Disappointment

(For Jonathan Galassi)


Isn’t it disappointing 

That Mars just looks like

A pile of rocks-

And not even red?


The moon too,

Just a dusty orb 

Pocked and white.


Even that asteroid.

It looks like the earth’s castoff,

A stone 

You wouldn’t even throw. 


In Ozu’s film “Tokyo Story,”

Setsuko Hara as Noriko,

The widow,

Whose husband was killed in the war,

Is kind to her in-laws.

They have come from so far

To visit their children,

Who are not kind,

Having no time whatsoever

To spare for them,

Even sending them away

To Kyoto, 

A gesture 

Cloaked in largesse,

To get rid of them.



The sky at night from Mars Photo provided by Wonderlust


Someone posted a photo,

The stars from Mars.

It was beautiful, but

I couldn’t believe,

They didn’t look any closer

Than they do from here.

How far out 

Do you have to go

For stars to seem closer?

For stars to seem near.


“Life is disappointing,”

Noriko says

At the foot of her mother-in-laws deathbed.

She is smiling,

Which makes it hurt more.


In Kyoto

They just stared out to sea