Ancestral Home

Haibun – Prose Poem

Ancestral Home 

Lillian Nakamura Maguire, November 2023

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hermit crab scuttles away
memories of my Pacific home

hermit crab scuttles away...
unearthed memories
of my Pacific home

I observe the solitary life of the hermit crab. I’ve come to Long Beach on Vancouver Island with my husband and young son. I’ve never been here before, but it feels like home–my body remembers. The lap of the waves, the ocean stretching out as far as the eye can see. Japan must be on the other side of that ocean.

It is my ancestral home. I’ve been to Japan, that Pacific island, but I don’t know it well.

The ocean calls to me.  There’s a tidal pool beside the ocean teeming with aquatic life that I’ve only seen at the Vancouver aquarium–sea cucumbers, anemones, sand crabs and starfish. Like a child discovering a whole new world, my heart opens up to my ancestral home.