For Kenji

‘Tis legendary
not ordinary,
‘cross sea.
Firm friendship, nary
time’s adversary.
To be
older, not wary.
Smiles luminary,
esprit.

Inspired by my recent visit in Yokohama with Kenji Kojima. Photos of Kenji and I in our 1965 senior high school album. And a new photo of us taken together last week in Yokohama, Japan.

Kenji was an AFS exchange student from Japan during our 1965 senior year at Waukegan Township High School in Illinois. We had not seen each other since 1965! The years didn’t matter. The distance didn’t matter. The friendship held true and we enjoyed two wonderful hours together reminiscing, talking about our families and grandchildren. What an absolute privilege to see him again.

Poetry form is the Lai: 9 lines with the following syllabic and rhyming restrictions:

Line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
Line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
Line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
Line 7: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 9: 2 syllables, rhymes with b

Morning

I wake up first. Our pattern for the past forty-six years. Turning my head, I see the love of my life. He sleeps, small puffs of air escaping from his lips. I smile recalling early days when he rocked our children, sang softly and soothed them into their dreams. His beard is white now. His hair more sparse than when the alarm clock jarred us into busy career filled days. I am content. I know we will soon be talking, laughing and loving, thankful for this day.

sun rises indolently
touching cloud puffs with rising blush
a new day to love

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Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, a virtual pub for poets, where Grace asks us to write about an ordinary moment in our day, challenging us to find the “extra” in that moment.  A haibun is a paragraph of prose, written in the first person and is a true personal narrative; followed by a haiku that is complementary. Photo from Provincetown, MA.