Maples Anticipating Their Autumn Colors

by Cyrus Cassells

Yoshi, at your sudden death,
What stays under my lids, in my body,

After decades: how we biked
The placid length of Kannonji,

Pedaling past ample rice fields
And Shikoku’s ramshackle docks,

The ragtag blue stacks
Of an imposing factory in the distance—

Beside an uphill shrine,
Its irrepressible maples anticipating

Their vibrant autumn colors,
We found an unlikely vendor

Hawking Cokes and gimcrack prayer beads,
His piped-in koto music

Sinuous among the pines,
A midsummer effort to conjure

The melancholy female ghost
Who lingered and sang on the glinting slope,

Her inescapable voice calling down a god
In the form of a crane,

Its white wings dripping
The cool water of Ursa Major—



Poem copyright 2021 by Cyrus Cassells. All rights reserved.

See two more poems from Cyrus Cassells debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle: My Only Bible,”  and  “The Absence of the Witch Does Not Invalidate the Spell

Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompt

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