The Passing Spring

by Naoko Fujimoto

Inspired by the ninth waka from Ogura Hyakunin Issuhu

Cold rain falls onto blossoms;
fading their color just like her body—
pieces of dried skin and bone,
her long gray hair covers the lineless back.
“Will you marry me?” she wants to hear for eight years.
For the time, he refuses to speak words beginning with “M”
and I said, “Why are you wasting time with him?”
Because she counts days in the grayish-pink,
she misses the extra season of endless fields .


Naoko Fujimoto was born and raised in Japan. She is currently working on her first poetry collection about the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan to increase awareness of victims’ ongoing struggles. Her recent publications are in Prairie Schooner, Hotel Amerika, and many other journals.

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