Alexis Rotella

Small Town on a Hot day

In the City by Pavel Brázda

I stand on the corner waiting to cross. The Italian cop sees me but pretends I don’t exist. He’s too busy conducting his private orchestra. Seems the only way I’m going to get to the other side is to lift my sun umbrella high into the air. Traffic stops. I go back to pick up my grocery bags. Applause from a string of tiny cars.

Is there anywhere left
in this world
where children own the streets?


About the writer:
Alexis Rotella has been writing Japanese poetry forms in English since the late 1970’s and has won many awards, including the Kusamakura Annual Haiku Contest (1999) where Rotella traveled to Kumamoto, Japan. Author of dozens of books, Rotella’s two latest received the Touchstone Distinguished Book Award–UnSealing Our Secrets (curation of MeToo stories, 2018) and Scratches on the Moon (Haibun, 2019). In June 2019 Rotella’s body of work was included in the American Haiku Archives (Sacramento, California).

Image: In the City by Pavel Brázda (1926-2017). Inkjet printing on canvas. No size specified. Between 2007 and 2015. By free license.