Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Despite Covid-19

No one could stop 90-year-old Sam from seeing his dying wife, Jo, one final time. His eyes were fixed on her pale face for hours, their fingers interlocked. The virus claimed her life one day after his visit. And a week later, Sam followed her into everlasting rest.

Surrounded by jostling reporters and photographers, Sam's eldest son tried hard to answer a reporter's question in a steady voice, Your mother is my love. I don't regret it for one second. I say ... I say goodbye and hold her hands for one more time. These ... these are my father's last words.

another dot
added to the heat map
of covid-19 ...
I remember last summer
the blue expanse in her eyes

I've been acquainted with this Walmart cashier for months, but I've never had a chance (or dared ) to tell her, I like you, or ask her out for coffee. The last time I saw her, she wore a face mask behind the checkout counter. After she gave me the receipt, I said to her in a loud voice, which astonished even me, many thanks for your service to our community during this difficult time.

This hard-working cashier with a sunny disposition might be my Jo, to whom I never said goodbye. Her masked smile, her eyes, and her have a nice day keep my heart from closing in this infectious world.

Ribbons, 16:3, Fall 2020