Japan Alps, 1986

In the thick of it—
primary school kids on furlough
storming my back, pulling
at my arms & whirling
me around—
a pair of brown eyes in
a grave ten year-old face
makes me lose my balance,
land under a laughing pile.
Like someone bent against a gale
toppled by a sudden calm.

Her face full
of my outlandishness
finds me again every time
I catch sight of a mirror—
you know that look.
Like the glance we give
a stranger when umbrellas
come down, the rain
just past & already
a clearing wind.


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