Summer Festival – Paula Kaufman

August: Esashi, Hokkaido Japan,
I sleep, stumble, hunger through winter
like stove cat, cyclops, ancestor
awaiting cold’s inaka shyness to melt,
summer’s rebirth, to open invitation,
well-lit doorway, three-day festival,
night’s sake garden, tatami mat welcome,
revival. Chattering plates, laughing kettle,
ambitious chopsticks.
Dancing fireworks unzip sky,
stagger-dark, palm blister drumming,
sandal holes, we dance our feet apart,
tugging ancestral rope through village,
sloughing off the long days,
the business suit, the briefcase,
portaging shrine gods home.

inaka—Japanese countryside
tatami—reed floor material

P KaufmanPaula Kaufman hails from West Virginia. Her feet are always itchy either to travel or run. Her work can be found in Heartwood, Brittle Star and Peacock Journal.