Blind, buttered, and bred: Stories of parents and children
To the one who chose my belly over all the other bellies (So, is that why you were so late?)
my piddelybrightestnosiest, whizyfluffysoftyest, bellyburstingbuttonest, velvetslickedybuttuckscheeked
one and only child
my perfect tailored toenailed one
my feather downy bearded one
my dirt plugged toenail boyish one
my slender nape necked thrilling one
my gulp it down to filling one
my desperate serious swimming one
my doesn’t get a cold not one
my gets better and is no bother one
my listens to his mother one (look both ways before you cross!)
my look out for all the younger ones
You! You got five valentine chocolates this year!
and then you gravely gave me one.
When mother’s friends come by dressed to the teeth, you always compliment them (lot’s of points here).
When you ride piggyback, you’re just the right size to massage my shoulders.
When we’re on our way home, you always say, “home at last” at the one-kilometer mark.
When you dress up Japanese, you look like “Japan number one” and get spotted in the street by Noh and storyteller scouts who invite you to join their group.
You always love to draw and are very good at cats.
You always have an earnest expression, as if you were absorbed in some great creative effort
Especially when you’re folding origami corners, your forehead gets very intense.
You’re best buddies with Pé the cat, and copy him when you come purr in my lap.
You wish Papa off to work and get out the beer for him when he comes home.
You’re the “brightest little kid in the world” who gives Mama a kiss every day.
And enough! But who would have thought it’d be so much fun to be dumb and dote.
And that too is all thanks to you.
My very best and favorite one!
(translation © victor woronov 2007)
Koichi Yamazaki, husband (left) / Akira, son (center) / Mari Yamada, mother (right)