Inku
Japan Society of Fairfield County

Tanka(3)
by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

春の野にいでてせりなど摘みおれば亡母がいつしか傍らにおり
ha ru no no ni    i de te se ri na do    tsu mi o re ba    ha ha ga i tsu shi ka    ka ta wa ra ni o ri

In the spring field
I gather watercress—
My departed mom is, too
picking it by my side

ばっさりと桃の一枝もろともに切り落とされた母が忍従
ba ssa ri to    mo mo no hi to e da    mo ro to mo ni    ki ri o to sa re ta     ha ha ga ni n ju u

With a branch of a peach tree
Mom’s subservience
was cut off—with no regret


焼酎あおるあなたが傍に残りしは黒猫一匹と昭和枯れすすき
sa ke a o ru    a na ta ga so ba ni    no ko ri shi wa    ne ko i ppi ki to    sho o wa ka re su su ki

Next to you gulping sake
your old black cat
your melancholic tune
and your choice


酔いどれの父の目は捨て犬の吾を見つむる据えた目である
yo i do re no   chi chi no me wa   su te i nu no   wa re o mi tsu mu ru   su e ta me de a ru

My drunken dad
stares at me with fixed eyes—
eyes of an unwanted dog

いい気味だ この穀潰し 馬の骨 父よあなたは何に苛立つ
i i ki mi da    ko no go ku tsu bu shi    u ma no ho ne  chi chi yo a na ta wa    na ni ni i ra da tsu

Serve you right!
Useless mouth!
Nobody!
What are you irritated about, Dad?


わが父親はヤクザな父親でありまして左二の腕に鯉の入れ墨あり
wa ga chi chi wa    ya ku za na chi chi de    a ri ma shi te    hi da ri ni no u de ni    ko i no i re zu mi a ri

My dad is, you see, not a dad like yours
On his upper left arm,
A carp tattooed he had


弱いから強がり見せて生きてきたのです 極道者に唾つけながら
yo wa i ka ra    tsu yo ga ri mi se te    i ki te ki ta no de su    go ku do o mo no ni    tsu ba tsu ke na ga ra

My dad is weak,
so he has lived bluffing his way
My dad is meek,
so he has lived befriending the yakuzas


ぷっつりと切れるかも知れぬ命の紐を花結びする老いたる父よ
pu ttsu ri to   ki re ru ka mo shi re nu    i no chi no hi mo o    ha na mu su bi su ru    o i ta ru chi chi yo

Making a knot
with your life string
which may snap itself any time—
My old father
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