...from The Thomas Merton Poems, Moonstone Press, 1988

Of all the sounds
          in Japanese,
the most powerful
           is oh
for the death of a child.

I’ve never had an oh,
          but I’ve had
          an ah
for a mother,
         an eh
for a father,
        an uh
for a brother.
Just about all the sounds,
        except oh.

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