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This poem is taken from PN Review 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Four Poems Paul Wilkins


The Drum-Bridge at Kameido

Two men are crossing the drum-bridge at Kameido,
laughing and talking together.
They do this in a print by Hokusai.
Below them runs the torrent of the river.

It seems to be near to dusk.
When they climb the steep curve of the bridge
their high wooden shoes
clack on the cross-slats, they almost

totter, as if trying to walk a tight-rope.
They sway to the crest of the bridge,
then pause, rest their elbows on the parapet
and face down to the waters.

From a house on the far side
faint notes of the shamisen and koto
...


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