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,
Source: Views from along the Middle Way (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)
More Poems by Thomas Centolella