Friendly eyes and modern shoes,
Her hair is lines drawn by
An architect’s hands on white paper.
She buoys like foamy waves
Across a grassy ocean current.
This woman heralds spring with
Butterfly kisses to the sky
And the gentle ring of the bells
She hangs from iron in her throat.
Her story isn’t from the works of
Browning or Grimm, but perhaps
She has snatched a few verses
From their prose thinking it was
Something rosier from her
Childhood of polished deceit.
The woman helps those without
Understanding of the feudal code
Governing the clans and serfs,
Guiding them with red scarves
And distilled heresy of those
Who would be deemed earthbound.
Others steal her atmosphere with
Their glass eyes and stone jeers,
Seeing her with those in the singular
Who should be joined in plural,
But most importantly, they say,
Crooning at night with poker hands
Of foreign hordes that would have
Been once terrified of what their
Particular hordes would forecast.
Directionless the compass points
In her purse’s pocket third from the right,
Next to the lipstick and modern things
That make her stick out from the sod
Like a sprout of stardust or hemlock
That others fear they must drink,
Robbing them not of life but livelihood,
As the monstrous train of steel
And coal and other gems excavated
From strip-mine dreams locks away
Rolling hills in television dramas.
Author’s Note: The Japanese have a saying that goes something along the lines “The nail that sticks out the most is first to get hammered.” In a largely homogenous society, fraternizing too frequently with foreigners may cast you in a suspicious light, especially if you’re from a remote and isolated village. That’s not to say this happens all the time, but for the person I observed for this poem, there were more negative whispers than positive one.