Tamiko studied Latin & French at New College, Oxford. She is raising two young children in England. When there’s no pandemic, she’s hired as a wedding pianist from time to time.
You ask why it took me so long to drive Why I’m still scared to do a three-point turn Won’t push seventy on the motorway Or enter a multi-storey car park. When I passed my test on the fifteenth go It felt like a miracle from above. We laugh that you stopped buying good luck cards After a decade of cardboard wasted. I don’t say that the grey-haired instructor Would place his hand on mine when changing gear And told me to flash my ‘pretty smile’ at Other drivers, when I was seventeen. He’s just being friendly, you would have said, Don’t be so sensitive.
Rice didn’t grow in the valley that year: Negative energy gathered in the nook of the Japanese Alps So the minister told them, at the conference. Kami-san, the gods, were unhappy, he’d said. The villagers struggled, but what could you do. They’d beg for more rain at the temple. In the distance, water trickled down another mountain; A new path down to the hydro dam, Lining the pockets of those in charge As quietly as the prayers whispered on bended knee.