Two Poems

by Tamiko Dooley (July 2021)

The Green Hill, Winslow Homer, 1878



Yurushi (Forgiveness)

Last night I dreamt of you:
You were turned away as we spoke
I couldn’t see your face

You were kneeling on the floor
Facing the fusuma door as it slid shut
Closing on all my mistakes

I heard your voice, as rough as the scales of salmon
You’d grab with yellow rubber gloves
As she swam upstream

I felt the brush of your shoulder
As I reached for you to explain
But you didn’t move

I tasted the bitter dregs of hojicha tea
Left to brew all evening

And when my forehead touched the tatami floor in apology
You were turned away

I couldn’t see your face

Choices (Erabu)

If I dream of you,
I steal you into my mind,
Or you choose to come?

yume no naka
kimi o sarauka
kimi ga kuru?


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Tamiko Dooley is a half-Japanese mother of two, born and raised in England. When there’s no pandemic, she’s hired as a wedding pianist from time to time.

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