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TWELVE HOURS DISTANT

My daughter's smile
Is twelve hours distant
But home
Is as close as the doors of sleep.

There is grass in my Japan
Because I planted it:
Not for the passing day
But for a life.

In the catalog of futures
We are three.

The context is that the poet is in New Zealand, hospitalized with a serious illness, his prognosis uncertain; his wife and child are in Japan, which is twelve hours distant by air.

As regards grass, private lawns are possible in Japan, a country where a big garden center may well sell turf along with other growing things. However, typically a private Japanese garden will not have a lawn. It is more likely to be a tract of beaten earth ornamented with potted plants and, perhaps, with decorative stones.



This poem TWELVE HOURS DISTANT was first published together with the accompanying notes when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2005 May 11 Wednesday. Poem and accompanying notes Copyright © 2005 Hugh Cook.

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