Starving,
Face dirty,
Hair matted,
Hands scratched
Abandoned stray,
You approached
Two travelers,
Sandals off,
Eating onigiri,
Rice balls,
At the
Crossroads.

You bowed
As your
Mother taught
You
Introducing
Yourself-
They fled,
Shrieking
"Yayoi, yayoi!"
Taking their
Food
With them.

Sucking your
Thumb,
You cried
Yourself
To sleep
Under a
Fallen tree,
Shivering
In the cold,
Hungry.

Starving,
Face dirty,
Hair matted,
Hands scratched
Abandoned stray,
You approached
A farmhouse,
The door open,
Women
And children
'Round the fire,
Fish grilling…

Down on
Your knees
Eyes averted,
Like mother
Taught you,
Apologizing
For intruding-
"Yayoi, yayoi!"
Boiling water
Tossed at you,
Rocks thudding
Against your back...

Sucking your
Thumb,
You cried
Yourself
To sleep
Within a
Forsaken temple,
Shivering
From the cold,
Hungry.

Starving,
Face dirty,
Hair matted,
Hands scratched
Abandoned stray,
You approached
A village,
Setting fire
To a barn
Which spread
Into the fields-
So there!

You walked
Empty streets
Eating all
You wanted
From pots,
From pans,
From crocks-
As the
Villagers
Frantically
Beat out
The flames.

Sucking your
Thumb,
You cried
Yourself
To sleep
Beneath a
Bridge,
Shivering
From the cold,
Full at last.