He wanted me to climb to the summit
of Bear Mountain to see an amazing view
that allowed us to see all the way down
to father’s office at 120 Wall street.
We clambered ahead with his machete
cutting our way through thorny bushes,
hanging vines and slippery undergrowth
around scattered ponds of quicksand.
He wanted me to see the imaginary faces
he could detect on lichen covered rocks,
and how to tell the difference between
red pine, white pine, black oak and white oak.
I was so excited to see the view—
I kept running up ahead of him.
A mushroom forager, he would call me back
to show me how to tell a poisonous amanita
from one you could eat.
Father wanted me to enjoy the climb
as well as the view—reminding me of his favorite line
from Basho: Even in Kyoto, I long for Kyoto.