Spring in Northern Japan by Sonia Saikaley

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Spring in Northern Japan

by Sonia Saikaley

Futons now hang on metal bars
outside apartment windows in Shiogama.
Plastic clips grip the thick cotton, keep them
from falling on narrow streets.

I wander through alleys
of paper lanterns and indigo curtains
of sushi restaurants where
clotheslines do not hang through streets,
just those metal bars.

My washer gurgles and chokes
on my underwear, socks, shirts.
Bang, bang, bang,
it whimpers through soapsuds.
I press my hands on the machine,
murmur apologetic words.


Sonia Saikaley’s first book, The Lebanese Dishwasher, co-won the 2012 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest. Her first collection of poetry, Turkish Delight, Montreal Winter, was published in 2012 and a second collection, A Samurai’s Pink House, will be published in 2017 by Inanna Publications. She is currently working on a novel called Jasmine Season on Hamra Street, which was awarded an Ontario Arts Council grant. A graduate of the Humber School for Writers, she lives in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada. In the past, she worked as an English teacher in Japan. Visit her website at www.soniasaikaley.com