Poetry: “Persimmon Tree Fukushima Japan” by TAKI Yuriko
“The Persimmon Tree In Winter”
Written/Narrated by TAKI Yuriko
The Persimmon Tree In Winter
By TAKI Yuriko
Translated by John & Deborah Saxon
The persimmon tree in every Japanese farmyard —
Even when untended,
Its branches all bear
Many ripe, sunset-colored fruits
It is a quintessential Japanese scene.
During a pause in the fall harvest, the persimmons are gathered,
And hung from the eaves to dry.
They make classic homemade sweets for the long winter.
As autumn closes,
The persimmon trees drop all their leaves.
Black and bare,
They enter into their time of sleep.
This winter is different.
In the enforced evacuation zone,
The unharvested persimmons remain on the branches.
Like large flowers in full bloom,
They sparkle in the
Unpeopled, pure white, snowy landscape.
These ripened persimmons show where
The Japanese government drew its line
Around the unseen radioactive fallout.