View #45

after Hokusai and Hiroshige

I dreamt half my life was spent
in wonder, and never suspected.
 
So immersed in the moment
I forgot I was ever there.
 
Red-tailed hawk turning
resistance into ecstasy.
 
The patrolmen joking with the drunk
whose butt seemed glued to the sidewalk.
 
A coral quince blossom in winter,
pink as a lover’s present.
 
And tilting my bamboo umbrella
against the warm slant
 
of rain, was I not a happy peasant
crossing the great bay on a bridge that began
 
who knows when, and will end
who knows when?

Thomas Centolella, "View #45" from Views from along the Middle Way.  Copyright © 2002 by Thomas Centolella.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
Source: Views from along the Middle Way (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)
More Poems by Thomas Centolella