taizo hori

the world knew him as dig dug,
but i called him father.
he still wore the uniform
from his great campaign,
years after the last pookah had been popped
and he had settled down to raise a family.

at the age of four,
he took away my doll
and put a drill in my hands.

he was there at my side
when i saved tokyo from the block menace,
scowling that the pink and periwinkle uniform -
his one concession to my wishes -
would be caught on camera for the world.

they wanted to know my name,
but as i opened my mouth to say "susumu"
he nudged me from behind,
unseen by the cameras,
and hissed, "mr. driller!
you're mr. driller!"

that night i couldn't sleep -
there were dark things moving in the earth -
and i rushed to his room, like a child,
hoping to wake him.
he whipped out his drill,
named "kissy" - for my mother -
from under the bedcover
(i hadn't known it was there)
and aimed it, not recognizing me,
as if i was some fygar,
something he could defeat,
not like the creatures who had taken my mother
in the depths of some distant world,
leaving only a yellow spacesuit -
kept in my father's room, perfectly polished -
and a man who sleeps with his helmet on.

he makes sure the cameras are there on my missions,
though i am out of sight
within moments,
in the womb of the earth,
drilling through blocks the colors of my dreams.