Crow, searching for a branch
in an autumn poem, finds
this winter memory instead.
Mist, escaped from some spring verse,
drifts across my snowed-in garden.
Rice paper unscrolling,
and the smell of fresh-ground ink.
I make moon and the hooked stroke
fishes up your half-forgotten face.
I must have been eight, couldn't sleep.
Even late, the derision of crows from
our neighbor's pine, a child's portent.
I called and you came to me, sitting
for a moment on the edge of my bed,
wicking away my fears when
you could do nothing about your own.
Your gauzy nightgown, like the moon's.
The way you both looked down.
A pity, time waters memory's ink.
Words bleed through the kozo. Still,
perhaps a new poem will come from this:
tears, the kigo – emptiness, the season.
By Steven RatinerQLRS Vol. 18 No. 1 Jan 2019