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July 2015, vol 11 no 2

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Claire Everett

Japanese Binding

~ for David

but my heart is as light
as a sparrow’s . . .
the roof of the nest box
thick with blossoms

Suddenly the world is a smaller place. So many shores that have not known my sole's imprint. So many friends who know my words as ink but not the way they sound on my lips. Except this one: he who surprises me from time to time with an early morning telephone call; he who sent this package winging its way from his hemisphere to mine. He was making room for new books, he says. "One can never have too many books!" We are bound by a love of tanka.

One by one, all held by him so recently. Each in its silk-smooth cover, weighs less than a small bird. And here, in another, a postcard serving as a bookmark. I take in the scene, then can't help but flip it over, to read the message, not meant for me. In cursive, gratitude from another friend who has been touched by his kindness.

In a soft spill of early evening light, I arrange the books on their new shelf. Until such time as I can place it directly in his hands, the card will keep his place.

a temple bell
I've never heard
the note I found
between the pages