Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Translating Issa #49

             The first problem was how yams fell. “Very quietly, like
petals,” said another teacher in the crowded office. Three or four left
their fingers above computer keyboards as an emotion from 200 years
ago was sifted into another language. One wall of open windows
framed green Izena Island past a playground. The sound of swaying
fans, anticipation at the heels of relief in the warmth of early autumn.
The second problem was hunger. All this talk of yams, all this
learning while white butterflies wrapped the youngest tree in the
playground. All these reminders of spring, two or three blossoms
popping in small corners of everyone’s minds.

Heard drops walk my skin
as the spring rain and yam bulbs
leisurely found ground.  end

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