haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2005, vol 1 no 2

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Jamie Edgecombe

Powder White
(for Yuko Edgecombe)

June rain on temple eaves. Listening to the quietness of her footfalls, compared to the shuffling slide of wooden geta upon worn planking. A glance sideward: once in a lifetime, a girl smiles like that. Aunts' pampering and middle-aged kimono dressers' fussing over: layered freedom of black hakama movements; the fan just so. A world away, mother and father's staying-awake-late tears run in unison with my hidden, dried streaks

falling
tears and summer rain
inwardly

From the flutes and soft rumblings of taiko drumming, the return from golden effigies; the offering of branches and sake, from me to you, you to me, repeated thrice; the surfaces shine through the membrane of liquid, interior light

red lips
against powdered white
moistened gold

June sunshine on temple eaves. Drizzling shower over. Stepping from the worn, tan eaves: under the ornamental bridge and around the Japanese stalk symbolising our happiness for a thousand years—the shuffling silk river, cracks the gravel.

After the confines of the ceremony and wet weather, little Yukina and Ian chase each other in the newly opened spaces;rising humidity

the rain
within raked grave
warmed


Notes:

warmed geta: wooden Japanese sandles.
hakama: male form of Kimono, often worn at weddings.
taiko: Japanese drums.

 

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