Wanda Waldera  © 2014 All Rights Reserved

Snow at Mukojima
            Kawase Hasui, woodblock print, 1931

Snow settles with twilight
over boats tied to the dock,
floating low and heavy in the water
from snow earlier in the day.

To the thump of a wooden oarlock,
ferryman brings his last passenger
into the tangerine glow of the inn
where geisha wait with hot tea,
dry clothes, warm miso soup.

A man poles his raft on the tranquil river
that flows off the world’s edge
taking my beloved away
into the blue-green sky.

I sit on the unlit dock,
old sweater pulled tight around,
wait until the colors fade,
return to my dark widower’s home.

Mark Liebenow
Copyright © 2014  

Mark Liebenow’s latest book, Mountains of Light, was published by the University of Nebraska Press. His poems, essays, and critical reviews have appeared in numerous journals, won the River Teeth, Chautauqua, and Literal Latte awards, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and named a notable essay in Best American Essays.

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