Washington Square Review

Kimiko Hahn

Two Poems by Kimiko Hahn

The Child's Safe, a zuihitsu


three tiny candy canes from the Christmas stocking

seven teeny tiny safety pins and one clothespin

a blue jay feather, the parakeet's pin feather, a plastic feather

mood ring, baby trolls, and a Cockamamie of a troll—all from a
       gumball machine

very tiny glass pelican 

doll-size Milwaukee Journal from Grandpa

Mother's sample Chanel No. 5 that she gave to me

Mother's bisque Kewpie doll—that she doesn't know I have

a letter on blue tissue from Grandma that I can't read because she
      writes in kana

A long piece of silk cut from Mother's dress when she was hemming.
      She promises to sew doll clothes for me when Daddy's in
      Chicago. She told me it's mauve and I think of her name and
      I would like a mauve dress, too. The same as hers. Which is
      what Auntie Makiko and Gracie have. The baby is too little for a
      mauve dress.

a rabbit foot—to keep forever safe

binoculars for a charm bracelet

the Valentine from Skipper that Dad teased me about which is why
       it's locked up

a wishbone from Barb


The Woman's Cabinet of Curiosities, a zuihitsu


A pewter wishbone

A needle carved from whalebone, a tortoise shell bracelet from
       Nicaragua, a purse made from crocodile—keep those or throw

Bracelet with plastic evil-eye beads from Assisi

Risqué cartes de visite: nude woman reading a book

The puppy's baby tooth and from our backyard: a dragonfly, cicada,
       three red feathers

Bira-bira ornament from Auntie Kimie

A wisp of dark hair tied with pink ribbon and the younger one's
      blond strands tied with pink—how tiny they were, though large
      in my body—

Occupied Japan figurine of a Chinese girl holding a lute—from my

Dad's jackknife (Did Dad use that knife to slice mango at
       Grandma's?) (Did he get it in the Navy?) (Did his father give it
       to him?)

Three fish hooks

A pinkie-size glass snail. A matchbook-size dictionary. A diaper pin. 
       A Menehune carved from wood. 

A dried rose, white, from my first wedding—from my hair

The Valentine I made for Mother when I was in grade school

A knife from Dad