Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2007, vol 5 no 1

TANKA

Jeanne Emrich
 

Like a Seal Woman

almost winter . . .
like a seal woman
I want only to slip
out of my skin
and call myself "she"

 

following an ambulance
into winter darkness
I try to remember
what was sworn to me
by grasses, by clouds

 

refusing
the cliff's invitation
I wait with arms open
for a swirl of snowflakes
to lift me

 

snow softly falling
on the meditation walk--
soon every dead end
will be just another way
to somewhere else

 

maybe it's too late--
like a mammoth
of the permafrost
this woman wandering
into the snow

 


Jeanne Emrich is a poet and artist living in Edina, Minnesota. Her first collection of tanka, The Pleiades at Dawn, was released on January 1, 2007. A longtime promoter of the haiga genre in the West, she is the editor of the annual hardcopy anthology, Reeds: Contemporary Haiga.