Sunday, January 3, 2016

Rengetsu (7)

by Ed Hack

The freezing wind
Along the shore
Has frozen the lake:
The ferry boats have
Been captured by ice.

The freezing wind along the shore, she writes,
has seized the lake and captured ferry boats.
There is no place, she knows, that one can hide
from ice. The sleet assaults her hut. No hope
or fear assails her now--death's changed all that.
With nothing left to lose she did not kill
herself but cut her hair to walk the path
the Buddha chose, surrendered to the will
of life, accepted all that is. The cold
blows through her tattered screen, and keeps
her up all night. She ages, she grows old
in life, and in the end it's life she reaps.
Those ferries stuck in ice--they're not what she
became. She chose the hard way to be free.

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