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The Strange Thing Little Kiosai Saw in the River



Little Kiosai, thirty six years old,

Little, because he stood tall at

Four and a half feet

But don't let that fool you,

For he was once a samurai

And a ferocious one at that,

The scars on his face told

Stories of yore

And his chonmage made him

The most eminent in the room

One fine day, wishing to breathe

Some fresh summer air,

Little Kiosai went on a stroll

Along the Kamuiwakka River

The birds sounded happy,

So did the rustling leaves,

And the burbling river

Was like a symphony to his ears,

Knowing he was alone,

He fancied himself a bath,

Nature's numerous children

Witnessing his act;

He took off his kimono,

And lay aside his katana,

And swam in the nippy water,

Each stroke of his arms

Taking him deeper into

The lap of the river;

And after one such stroke,

His eyes glanced upon

The pinkest Tsubaki flowers,

Desiring to own one of them,

He swam across to their resting place,

But within seconds, he let out a gasp;

Next to the Tsubakis lay a woman,

Her hair open and astray,

Eyes shut peacefully,

But that was it, just the head,

Floating there akin to the flowers;

Little Kiosai stared at the head,

And he kept staring for longer than anybody

Could, or would, or should,

And right when he snapped back into his sense,

The woman stared back at Little Kiosai,

Her lips curling into an ugly smile.


//NaPoWriMo, Day 1


[Painting: John La Farge, 1897]

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