Japanese Tea Garden


Together we walked through fog and past waterfalls,
Past ponds with glistening golden carp and black ones, too,
Past hillsides dotted by miniature trees.

The young ones went up, up, up the steep wooden bridge,
And down, down, down the plummeting side.

The carp came up for air and mouthed their fishy thoughts
At us, thoughts full of the bugs they caught on the surface
And the hours they spent underwater.

We took steps together along cool paths, past babies' tears.
The grass was green and the sky overcast, the way we like it.

Colours were saturated, and stood out nicely—
The light yellow highlights on the evergreen trees,
The mottled greens and greys of the rocks and lichen.

We watched a silly squirrel roll down the hill
And hang upside down from some branches.

We had our green tea and rice cookies.
Before we left, we went back to the squirrel's spot
And hid a treat for him at the foot of his tree.


©2016 Michael Fraley




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