Obon Holdiay

People walk to love one’s graves
Some ancient from long ago
While others still freshly new
Clean the scatter leaves way
Visit who they’ve lost
They give their solemn thanks,
They place a light;
They stand or kneel in silent
To let ancestor’s spirits know
They think about them day and night.

Evening comes, light fill the sky
People gather near the waters
Paper lanterns burn solemnly
For ancestors spirits dead and gone
Flame flickers their spirit
They will release upon the waters
Songs as old as time are heard
As people gently place lanterns in water
They watch it go slowly,
Peacefully home to far beyond.

Now, the solemn time has pass
Dressed in light cotton kimonos
Celebration and joy fill the streets
Drums beat in rhythm of time
Joyful music uplifts one spirits
They dance the Bon-Odori
Remembering ancestor and their sacrifices
They send their love one’s spirit back
To permanent dwelling place under the guidance of fire
In mid-summer evening of the seventh month.

April 3rd Prompt: Write a poem about a holiday you do not celebrate: Diwali, Solstice, St. Patrick’s Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Buddha Day, Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans, World Vegetarian Day or another that you know or find for this exercise.

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