I know the angle of the roof
though it’s hidden by the blossoms.
I know the feel of the blossoms
though none have fallen on my sleeve yet.
I know the way the wood will creek under my feet
though I haven’t stepped inside yet.
It is curious
how I’ve forgotten less than I thought,
even after trying to stop thinking
of a place that was no longer mine
to call home.
In some ways it hurts more
to see what isn’t mine to claim,
ready to welcome others who stop
to seek sanctuary under these trees
that are every inch as much as an expatriate as I am.
Is there space
under the weeping cherry blossom tree
where I can close my eyes
and find out if it smells like home too?
|View of Shofuso by Matthew Meyer from his Views of Philadelphia Series|
Matthew also runs Yokai.com, one of the best resources of Japanese mythological critter lore that exists out there.
Song Choice: Once Upon a December from Anastasia
This poem was created for Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads' prompt, Kerry Says ~ Human-Landscape Interactions. It is also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry 484.
Liner Notes for this Groove: I hope Kerry will be kind enough to forgive me, but I bent the rules a tiny bit. The voice in this poem does not belong to a human, it belongs to a yokai (a blanket term for mythological Japanese creatures that have a lot in common with the tricksie ways of old school Western faerie creatures). The yokai in question is Yuuki, a kitsune (Japanese fox spirit) who has several short stories starring him on this blog, and one in my collection, The Trouble with Wanting and Other Not-Quite Faerie Tales.
I've long been enchanted by Matthew Meyer's Ukiyo-e style Views of Philadelphia, and thought of them immediately when I read Kerry's challenge. Of course, the one of my beloved Shofuso (this is where I take most of my tea lessons) grabbed my eye. I know what I think of Shofuso, but I wanted to explore it from Yuuki's view in poetic form. I suspect I'll be tackling it in prose form too, and he will exchange words with a certain faerie who has been the guardian of this area since her cousin, the Faerie Queen of Philadelphia, granted it to her not too long after the American Revolution. But that summer solstice meeting will have to wait for another time.