The lines of father’s eyes are etched with pain
his rasping fights this rain over the phone.
He smiles at me, his face as white as bone.
My fingers fold a thousand paper cranes
to fly my hope before I board the plane,
disguise myself in common voyage home
(for they would clip the wings that I have grown).
No promises that I’ll return again.
Canada, Japan, each place waits for me,
my heart is split in two across a sea.
Demo, my cat awaits me in the sun.
To father I am ready to return—
for being close alleviates concern.
I won’t forget the new life I’ve begun,
I can’t forget the battles that I’ve won,
and in my heart this torch will always burn.