Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2009, vol 7 no 2
 

TANKA

Andrew Riutta
 

in a world
of powdered milk
instant coffee
and cheap beer
my little girl's deep blue eyes

 

that bald eagle
can glide for miles and miles
without flapping its wings
yet will never know the bliss
of a hot dog with just ketchup

 

It can be unsettling,
the stillness of bare trees.
Closing my eyes,
I begin to sway
just a little.

 

Like Buddhist monks
we chopped wood that afternoon
with little to say . . .
until an arch in your back
told me you were pregnant.

 

Because I do not
have the heart to tell her
I am no king,
my daughter still dresses
like a princess.

 

The three final poems have been previously published in Cigarette Butts and Lilacs: Tokens of a Heritage (Modern English Tanka Press, 2008) by Andrew Riutta.

 


Andrew Riutta Andrew Riutta lives in northern Michigan. He and his eight-year-old daughter, Issabella, enjoy walking in cemeteries and eating pancakes.