Is It July Again? Hirata Toshiko
I get a phone call from a friend.
She wants me to wake her up at 7 A.M.,
because she knows I don’t sleep.
It’s for something important, she said.
Seems simple enough,
but as soon as I tell myself
just don’t fall asleep
my eyelids droop.
The hours that always seem to disappear
have come to a dead stop tonight.
I have a feeling I won’t be able to stay up until morning,
so I call a different friend:
I’ve got something important tomorrow
so could you wake me at 6:55 A.M.?
She likely felt her eyelids droop, too,
called someone else,
Can you wake me up tomorrow at 6:50 A.M.?
A vicious cycle
making its rounds
like a circulator bus
through my circulatory system
I want the wake-up call for my friend
to be a song, sort of a Morning Call.
Flipping through the pages of Beloved Musical Classics:
music that only puts you to sleep:
a trap sprung open when The Cuckoo Bird Song
It’s been a month since my last encounter
with a cuckoo bird.
This time, the cuckoo
is a song by W. T. Wrighton, translated
into Japanese by Sakuto Kondo
in the early 1900s.
I know this song
from high school music class,
Miss Matsuyama played it on the piano.
We were allowed to sing it only once
before she moved us right along
to Santa Lucia.
I guess The Cuckoo Bird Song
didn’t have great educational value
(although it’s a good song)
I sing The Cuckoo Bird Song over
trying to recall the parts I got wrong in high school
It’s well past seven in the morning
and I still can’t stop singing.
—Translation by Eric E. Hyett & Spencer Thurlow