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20. View from Ejiri in Suruga Province
There goes your data! This great wind,
Like a hard disk crash, explodes
The message, blasting pages into the air,
Tossing the bamboo hat, too, toward the swamp.
Thank God for the twin elms, teetering, too,
But bracing our heroine, so she does not spin, like the
Leaves being torn away, to ride, like
Confused birds, tossed crazily by the gale.
Convincing us that the mountain still lies behind,
A suggestion of a form, a ghost.
These folks up front, tangled and twisted,
Bent double against the roar, blown
Nearly off the trail, grab hat and cloth,
Haul in their bags, staggering home.
But this woman's lost her vision,
Hair thrashing, hat gone, her pile
Of papers rippling off, rat a tat,
Before she can clap a hand on top,
Gone, the love letters from the samurai,
Lost, the bills and accounts, streaked and
Ruined, the print of the kabuki.
The brushstrokes blur in mid air,
Rain rushing down, pummeling paper
Into the long grass, each blade
Whipping like a furious pen.
Slash, slash, slash, these white stretches
Cut back and forth, making the mounded pathway
Rise out of the reeds, zigzagging
East and west, and down to the horizon.
White water slices into the marsh,
Lake's bright line divides us from
The translucent Mount Fuji.
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