Posts Tagged ‘sci-fic’

“The Kimono”, continuation of Chapter 2

June 8, 2020


Lord Tetsu stood at his table, his arms crossed over his chest, looking curiously at the woman before him wrapped in his quilt. “Then, if you dare, compose a poem and let’s see if your boasting has merit.” Mari thought hard, trying to remember some she had recently written. There were a few, though they didn’t follow the classical forms.

Cold rain sweeps the streets. Even ducks seek shelter. Feathers drop in haste.

“Hah! Not very good, but a beginning. Give me another.” Mari thought this next one would be more of the classical form but then she wasn’t really sure.

A glance at a wrist. There! The pulse of a river– tiny beat of life.

“Better! Perhaps your husband has taught you something.”

“My husband has taught me nothing, Lord Tetsu. He is not interested in poetry. I have learned this myself.”

“Not interested in poetry? You have married a barbarian then, for a man who does not write poems is indeed a savage. Give me some more, Woman-called-Mari.”

She thought of a few others she had written, though she could only partly remember their lines. She had little option except to admit failure but something in this rude man brought her mettle out. Pausing only a little between poems, she closed her eyes and recited what she could.

A woman in bed, kimono revealing breast. Snow on Mt. Fuji.

Snow falls on meadows. Crows pick at last harvest seeds. Spring now far away.

A swirl of blossoms caught in the water’s current begins the season.

Fall’s crispness compels apples to tumble from trees. Worms make the journey.

I chase one red leaf across dry and brittle grass. Juice of summer gone.

She kept her eyes closed thinking back to what she had just recited. Opening one eye, she saw him contemplating her with a quizzical look. “For a mere woman, you have a fertile mind. If you had been born a man, you might have made a name for yourself.”

Lord Tetsu gave a short nod of his head, a measure of respect.

“Come, woman, learn how a man writes poems. You have shown yourself capable of learning at least something. Perhaps you are the rare woman who can rise above her

What a pompous ass, thought Mari. Obviously, this dream is about humiliation.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2019

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