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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Deidra Greenleaf Allan
Flourtown, Pennsylvania, USA


Moriko Teahouse, 21st Station
from Hiroshige’s 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road

It’s early evening, the sky peach, edged in persimmon. Two travelers eat at a teahouse beside the road, kimonos hiked above their knees as they straddle a bench, heads bent to their bowls. The waitress, infant strapped to her back, shuttles in getas across the floor, bringing more food. Here, the road begins to rise toward Utsu mountain, then on to Kyoto. A solitary traveler passes by. On his shoulders, a knapsack knotted at the end of a long pole. He looks down as he walks, perhaps thinking how far he has to go, perhaps dreaming of a faraway home. In the teahouse, no one looks up as he passes. Everyone misses the plum tree beside the road, just breaking into bloom.

On the busy road
only the gutters have time
to gather blossoms


Editor's Note: The Hiroshige image on which this ekphrastic haibun is based can be viewed here.

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