The doctor told me that you died
fifteen minutes past midnight on
Christmas because your heart had failed.

In the morgue at Fremont Kaiser
a quilt of eight swans swim over us.
Plato says that swans sing a song

just before they die, and the Sanskrit
word for swan hamsa also means soul
and the Platonic Lambda, the Soul

of the Universe, adds up to 55—
the number of days you lived
past your 97th year. You knew

5 and 5— our hands clapping while
playing patty-cake in our exercise,
5 and 5— fingers touching in prayer.

Now I place my head on your heart
to hear your swan song to me as
I whisper my gratitude to you:

Mama Mama— you have a good heart
When your parents and elder brothers died,
you took care of your younger brother & sister.

Mama Mama— you have a good heart
You made a lovely home for Dad
entertaining guests of many friends.

Mama Mama— you have a good heart
You imbued your children's lives with
inner values of kindness and patience.

Mama Mama— you have a good heart
They all loved you at Aegis Gardens
calling you lovingly Chou Ma Ma.

Mama Mama— you have a good heart
Dad said it best in his love letter
to you: "My home is in your heart."

Mama Mama— your heart did not fail.
You had so many many friends in life
because you have a good good heart.

— Peter Y. Chou
     Mountain View, 12-25-2005