Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2008, vol 6 no 1
 

TANKA

Janet Lynn Davis
 

shards of rainbow
spattered across the floor. . .
this pause
in my afternoon
to study the hues

 

eighty-one,
my father building
new closet shelves,
once more rearranging
the deepening layers

 

those young years
I spent trying
not to be him;
now, in photos, me
with the same stern jaw

 

a girl whose dolls
were all neatly clothed
and coifed. . .
not knowing then
that I'd have no children

 

our sidewalk art
back then—hopscotch squares,
no space
left unchalked
from her house to mine

 

the short walk back
from grade school,
those wispy buttercups
I'd bring home. . .my mother
still warmed by spring flowers

 

flip-flops
slap the ground harder
after class—
just seven, but who else
had ever flunked "swimming"?

 

homemade books—
You can be a writer
my dad once said
though hoping, I suspect,
I'd do something sensible

 

the neighbor kids
in a semicircle,
waving farewells
that day we drove off
in our Chevy, for good

 


anet Lynn Davis Janet Lynn Davis is a writer from Texas. Her tanka and other poems have appeared in a variety of familiar online and print venues over the past few years, including recently or forthcoming in bottle rockets, American Tanka, Wisteria, Ribbons, red lights, Landfall (MET Press), Tanka Splendor, and elsewhere.