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Tom Barlow

The Bonsai Garden

Park Bench by Helene Schjerfbeck

Bashō, in Kyoto, longed for Kyoto when he heard the cuckoo. I watch it bathe, chirping its ignorant joy in the pond water. We did not drop our bomb on Kyoto, so those ghosts fly elsewhere. In their absence the cuckoo, that bird of unrequited love, watches me from a cherry limb as I wander through the bonsai, trying to imagine the man who could take an axe small as my little finger to these ancient trees.

The boy tugs his mother’s sleeve
come see
the mushroom cloud



About the writer:
Tom Barlow is an Ohio writer of novels, short stories and poetry whose work has appeared in journals including Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, New York Quarterly, Modern Poetry Quarterly, and many more.

Image: Park Bench by Helene Schjerfbeck (1862-1946). No medium specified. No size specified. No date specified. By free license via Dguendel.

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