Memorial Service

at a country temple in Kansai, Japan, 1985

Lighting the joss sticks, offering a fat
imported peach, pouring hot tea
over the grave while singing
the cryptic syllables—this much
seems universal. But then:
You must be happy Mother
with such beautiful grandchildren

& going on to tell how fine everything is.
There’s no need for any worry,
you’re a buddha now after all!

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