Sunday, September 19, 2010

Snacks - a poem


Two men.
One stout one not.
Sitting across from me
Seiza-style by the low table.
My western knees would
Not bend their thataway.

Steaming bowls
Chase away the winter devils.
I wonder at their capacity to hold such great portions.

Our tongues were
Born the same year.
And this day
There are many bowls full.

Growing up
I ate my fill of warm toast and jelly
Every day after school, while
One boy staved off
His hunger by rubbing a button
Under his nose.
The other by
Burning a strand of hair to sniff.

Now we are
All three old.
It is may years
Since the hunger of after-war.

Stone hibachis on the tea-room floor
Shiver, and
Our bowls are full of
Toast, buttons & hair.