by Arlene Geller
Print: Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)
I long to accompany the crane
as it glides above the glistening Miyagawa River
where it dwells alongside the Japanese
who have lived here for generations.
The crane swoops down and eyes the tangerine carp,
keeping its distance from the tourists who delight
in the river fish, iridescent in the burnished sunshine,
entertaining their admirers merely by existing.
Not so the crane as it strolls on the slightly submerged rocks
and bides its time, hunting and catching smaller game
until it tires of waiting, lifts, floats above the water, the carp.
It doesn’t notice I admire its slender neck, its stately motion.
When it returns, as it will, after the tourists are gone
I hope to see it as I shop in the Morning Market along the river.
I, too, am part of Takayama—a village of peace and kindness,
a respite from a turbulent world.
Poet/lyricist Arlene Geller is passionate about writing. Her poetry has appeared in journals, including Tiny Seed Journal, Better Than Starbucks, Tiferet Journal, The Penwood Review, The Jewish Writing Project, and White Enso. Her first poetry chapbook, Hear Her Voice, will be published by Kelsay Books in 2023. Collaborations with composers include commissioned pieces, such as: Elusive Peace, which premiered as part of Service of Lessons and Carols at Vassar College; and River Song, featured in the world premiere of I Rise: Women in Song at Lehigh University and since performed in numerous national and international locations. Learn more at arlenegeller.com.