Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Miserable Homecoming

To her own home,
To where she had so wanted to return,
Chieko has come, dead.
Late on an October night, I sweep away dust
And sanctify a small corner of the empty studio
And lay Chieko there.
In front of her unmoving body
I stand still as if for ever.
People put up funeral screens,
People light candles and burn incense,
People make up Chieko's face,
Things take care of themselves.
A new day dawns, then night falls,
Everywhere comes alive,
The house fills up with flowers,
It begins to look like someone's funeral,
And, before I know it, Chieko is gone.
I stand alone in the dark, deserted studio.
Outside is what's called the night of the full moon.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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