Soliloquy by FR Dane 2011
Soliloquy by FR Dane 2011

June Kino Cullen

Red Streamer
        Yokohama, Japan, 1959

A gray April morning
aboard a U.S. Navy ship.
Mother and I spot her

standing on the dock.
I yell, Obachan, Grandma.
Her obsidian eyes remain

strong, tearless, vigilant.
My small body keeps throwing
thin streamers, landing nowhere.

Then Grandmother’s determined
hand catches the last strand.
For an instant, we all smile.

Aunts, uncles, cousins huddle
to grasp the wavering thread.
Mother’s moist hands clutch my fist.

The vessel begins its move.
We wave to touch. The line snaps.
Our half hangs against the hull.

Their side drops on dead seaweed.
Faces fade into the mist.
Eyes strain to hold us close.

A distant foghorn bellows
its solitary warning.
Red stains my palms like rope burns.



©2019 Small Print Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the publisher.