I was six,
a knapsack on my back.
Every time I set out for school
and passed Matsuoka' s house
I felt like crying.
It was a very small house
four doors down from mine
and I always felt like turning around
and going home.
Though I was reluctant I didn't cry
and I went on to school.

My younger brother was six,
a knapsack on his back.
From the window I watched him
go off to school
wearing his floppy school cap.
I was in junior high.
He walked
slowly away,
slump-shouldered ,
and all at once
started crying out loud.
It was in front of Matsuoka's house.

Even now
when I go somewhere
for the first time
Matsuoka's house looms up in my memory.
I am suddenly overtaken
by sadness and helplessness.
“I could cry easily
I could easily
cry out”.
So thinking,
I just go along
without a word.