Day 34 – clock

Sunday, October 4, 2009
Day 34
11:17 am – 12:17 pm


I knew when she came to get me

Dad had finally settled down
and seemed to be able to sleep

I knew before she even opened her mouth

It seemed like we could
take a moment
and make more calls,
track down the grandkids,
get everyone to the house

I knew when she approached too gingerly toward the door

There went the breath
Like a limp body that didn’t anticipate
the start of tug-of-war with the air

I knew she hadn’t gone to find mom

Good friend as JoAnn is, that just wasn’t her job
She came to tell me to go find her
Mom had to be upstairs on the computer

And of course she’d fight it
She’d see me and go against her gut
and the tone of my voice

But we’d
what we
needed to

In paying attention to our grief for who knows
how long it dawned on me I had no idea
When it actually happened

About a quarter to three,
she said,
looking down at her watch

We knew JoAnn would know

We noticed later that day
the grandfather clock
that was near Dad’s hospice bed
had stopped altogether
Mom must not have tended to the lever

I assume JoAnn can’t help but look at it

Whenever visiting my mother
she must remember standing there
next to the grandfather clock
It is still set to where it was when it died,
At about a quarter to three

traci kato-kiriyama


About traciakemi

traci akemi kato-kiriyama - inter/multi-disciplinary theatre/performance artist, arts educator, cultural worker, community organizer. Tuesday Night Project; theatre, performance, writing, and teaching projects with many organizations and artists including: zero 3; Edge of The World for Asian Arts Initiative in Philadelphia and the National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York; "PULL" with Kennedy Kabasares in San Francisco; Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap Collaboratory I; TeAda; NCRR; Oymun's 11. Playwright for "Chasing Dad - a performance of a reading about a play i'm writing" presented by Inside the Ford for the Ford's Summer Playwright series. View all posts by traciakemi

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