One thousand paper cranes
You said the class would make.
I smiled at your earnestness,
“That’s the number for good luck
According to a Japanese legend,”
You piped on:
“And cranes symbolize long life.”
That touched me to the core –
Having been twice struck by cancer.
“We will make you one thousand cranes!”
“You will get better,”
You promised with all your might.
At home recuperating, I imagine
All forty-two pairs of hands busy
Manly hands cutting tiny squares of colour
Under the dark brown desks
While heads look up in attention
And gentle caring feminine fingers
Folding each square intricately
To form the delicate crane.
A visit for Teachers’ Day
And I’m given a big yellow bag.
Opening it I find
One thousand tiny colourful paper cranes.
My eyes fill with tears
You kept your promise.
My heart bursts with hope
I will get better.