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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 1, March 2014

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Patricia Prime
Te Atatu South, Auckland, New Zealand


Travelling Light

O for a heavenly fire!
I would reel in
the distant road you travel,
fold it up,
and burn it to ashes.

—The Daughter of Sano Otogami (Love Songs from the Man'yōshū)

"That's really smart," I say to my daughter, as she shows me a hat she's wearing for her overseas trip. It's a particularly decorative version of a pixie hat I wore as a child. Black stockings and a plaid coat for the cold weather teamed with boots, completes her ensemble. Her map book tucked into her backpack, along with tickets, itinerary and phrase book.

I too am stepping off the edge of an old map with its straight lines, exact directions, into the world of retirement. I let go of the safety of work and income, jump into an unmarked destination, a blank page, and hope my journey will be as exciting.

leaving a message
on the answerphone
she goes looking
for the house where she was born
between the park and high street

winter wonderland
for the girl who lives
in the Southern hemisphere
where the only snow to be seen
is in the mountains

leaves begin to stir
even as a scarf of snow
decorates her throat
in the photo she's sent me
from the New Forest

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